Conference--Epistemic Breakdowns and Crises in East Asia

Mar 2, 2018Mar 3, 2018
202 Jones



Event Description

Historians studying the production and dissemination of knowledge in East Asia face two challenges: one, how to overcome the influence of the epistemic categories and values imposed by their position as modern actors; and two, how to best understand the creation and validation of knowledge in its historical context. By exploring epistemic breakdowns and crises, defined as occasions in which knowledge "fails" its users, scholars can not only examine the plurality of expectations and values held by different historical actors and groups, but also better determine the practices that have legitimized them. This workshop's participants will explore epistemic breakdowns and crises across multiple periods of East Asian history in order to both problematize the boundaries and criteria that have been assumed in the historical study of knowledge and illuminate the complexity of its production and dissemination.

RSVP required:

                       Session I


Welcome and Introduction


Annika A. Culver, FSU

Pheasants Over Raptors: New Paradigms for Japanese Zoologists in Postwar Japan

Miriam Kingsburg Kadia, CU Boulder

The End of Objectivity:

Japanese Human Scientists in the Student Movement of 1968

Session III


Emily Baum, UC Irvine

Mind Over Matter:

Neuropsychiatry, Chinese Medicine, and Mental Illness in Republican China

Susan L. Burns, UChicago

Fox Possession and Psychiatric Discourse:

An Epistemic Crisis in Japan’s Medical Modernization



Session II


Constance A. Cook, Lehigh

Death of a Patient as Failure in the 4th c BCE

Joan Judge York University, Toronto

Epistemic Breakdown in the Age of Cholera: Cures, Prevention, and Medical Knowledge in Republican Chinese Daily-Use Texts


Tea and Coffee

Session IV


Carla Nappi UBC

Translating Failure

Federico Marcon, Princeton

Concepts vs. Practices: Overcoming a Misconceived Dialectic in the Historiography of Science


Tea and Coffee


Discussion and Closing Remarks

Conference sponsored by the East Asian Studies Program, Digital Humanities, History of Science Department, PIIRS, University Center for Human Values.

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