Science and Technology in Asia Seminar Series

This seminar series features talks on critical historical and contemporary issues in science and technology in East, South, and Southeast Asia. It showcases some of the most exciting recent work in the humanities and social sciences that interrogates the place of the scientific and the technological in Asia and the place of Asia in our ideas and practices of science and technology.

The Science and Technology in Asia seminar series is convened by Victor Seow, Assistant Professor of the History of Science, and is sponsored by the Harvard University Asia Center. For updates about this seminar series and short synopses of the talks, check out:



January 31, 2023 | Nurfadzilah Yahaya | "The Baseless History of the Foreshore" | Register here

February 7, 2023 | Stephen Halsey | "Rocks and Gems: Mining and Developmentalism in Early Twentieth Century China" | Register here

February 14, 2023 | Aya Homei | "The Japanese Population between Science and the State" | Register here

February 28, 2023 | Renny Thomas | "The Scientific-Spiritual World(s): On Science, Religion, and Rationality in India" | Register here

March 14, 2023 | Farhana Sultana | "Decolonizing Climate Coloniality" | Register here

March 21, 2023 | David Fedman | "Dai-Ōji: The Ōji Paper Company and Japan's Pulp Pipelines in Asia" | Register here

April 4, 2023 | Jacob Eyferth | "Agrarian Taylorism: Reorganizing the Rural Labor Process in Collective-Era China" | Register here

April 18, 2023 | Kate McDonald | "The Labor of Transport: Body and Machine in Japan's Postwar Consumer Society" | Register here

April 25, 2023 | Jaehwan Hyun | "Entangled Genetic Histories of Bionation Building in Japan and South Korea" | Register here

May 2, 2023 | Emily Baum | "From Cold War to COVID-19: Acupuncture as Soft Power in the PRC" | Register here


Fall 2022

Julia Adeney Thomas | "Frameworks for the Future: The Environment, Climate Change, and the Anthropocene" 

Lilly Irani | "Chasing Innovation: Entrepreneurial Citizens and Their Others in Modern India" 

Tamara Fernando | "Diving for Pearls: Embodied Knowledge(s) in the History of Science Science" 

Yulia Frumer | "Agency and Ethics in Japanese Robotics Engineering" 

Celia Lowe | "Viral Sovereignty: Security and Mistrust in the Indonesian H5N1 Influenza Outbreak" 

Chia-Ling Wu | "Making Multipe Babies: The Anticipatory Governance of Assisted Reproduction in Japan and Taiwan" 

Lan Li | "Sea Shells: Metaphor, Anatomy, and Epistemology of Brainlessness" 

Youjung Shin | "Controlling the Mind for Welfare in South Korea: Classroom, Computer, and Drug, 1960s–2010s"

Sarah Mellors Rodriguez | "Birth Control and Abortion in China" 

Banu Subramaniam | "Botany and the Afterlives of Empire" 

Spring 2022

Charu Singh Disposition, Merit, and Morality: Images of the Scientist in India, 1915-1920 

Raja Adal The Print Sublime: Global Scripts in the Age of Mechanical Writing

Faizah Zakaria Camphor, Celluloid, and Creating the Indigenous in the Dutch East Indies

Albert Park The Ecology of Authority: Agricultural Science and Destruction in Modern Korea

Yuko Fujigaki Lessons from Fukushima: Japanese Case Studies on Science, Technology, and Society

Howard Chiang Transcultural Freud: A History of Psychoanalysis in the Sinophone Pacific

Iwo Amelung The Localization of Meteorology and Climate Science during the Chinese Republican Period

Florence Hsia From Illiterate to Sinologists: Indexing Chinese

Fall 2021 

Carla Nappi How to Come Apart: Decomposing a History of Translation in China              

Jisoo Kim Suspicious Deaths: Forensic Medicine, Dead Bodies, and Criminal Justice in 18th-Century Korea

Elizabeth Chatterjee The Sun's Two Faces: Solar Power in India, 1877-2021

Yangyang Cheng "Those Who Fall Behind Get Beaten Up": Can Science Build a Strong China?

Debjani Bhattacharya Insuring Weather: Climate Futures Past in the Indian Ocean World     

Victoria Lee The Arts of the Microbial World: Fermentation Science in 20th-Century Japan

Juno Salazar Parreñas Pronouns for an Apocalyptic Future

Honghong Tinn Manufacturing Electronics in Taiwan, 1966-1975: Emulation, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

Spring 2021

Claire Edington Drugs, Willpower and the Biopolitics of Addiction in Colonial Vietnam

Thomas Mullaney The Chinese BIOS Sphere: How East Asian Computing Hacked Modernity

Todd Henry Layer Matters: Medical Authority, Body Conformity, and Intersex Livelihood in Cold War South Korea

Ruselle Meade The Kyūri-bon Boom and the Public Perception of Science in Early-Meiji Japan

Asif Siddiqi "Practically No Habitation": The Yanadi Community and the Colonial Violence of Spaceflight

Shellen Wu Mapping Science in a Global Age: the Human Dynamics of Scientific Knowledge

Yumi Kim Madness in the Early Twentieth-Century Japanese Family: Writing Away from Psychiatry


Fall 2019

Projit Bihari Mukharji Between the Yogi and the Commissar: Imagining Decolonial Science in Postcolonial India, C. 1952-1977

Jung Lee and Hyungsub Choi Thinking with Technology from the History of Korea

Susan Burns Sexual Assault and the Evidential Body: Forensic Medicine, Gender, and the Courts in Modern Japan

Spring 2019

Jennifer Robertson Digital Hormones: Emotional Humanoids and Spiritual Humans

Dagmar Schäfer Lists, Local Gazetteers, and the True Lies of Premodern China's Patterns of Social Mobility

Jayita Sarkar The First Battlefield of Western Nuclear Competition: India and Light Water Reactors, 1955-1963


Fall 2018

Marta Hanson Heaven and Earth Are Within One's Grasp (Qian Kun zai wo 乾坤在握): The Handy Mind in Late Imperial Chinese Medicine

Soyoung Suh Breast, Cancer, and Women in Korea, 1800–1930s

Suzanne Moon Reporting Indonesia's Green Revolution

Harvard University's Asia-Related Resources