Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Interdisciplinary Lunchtime Seminar [via Zoom]
A Source of Vernacular Knowledge or a Final Frontier for Globalized Science? American and Chinese Discourses on Science in the People’s Republic of China, 1971–1978
Dr. Pete Millwood
Society of Fellows in the Humanities
The University of Hong Kong
Date & Time: 9 March 2021 | 12:00 nn – 1:00 pm (HK Time)
(Registration deadline: 12:00 nn on 8 March 2021. Successful registrants will receive zoom information after the deadline.)
During the Cultural Revolution, the People’s Republic of China championed a revolutionary approach to science in which knowledge was to be produced and applied by the laboring masses. One particular audience was Americans, who again began to visit China beginning in 1971. Many were enthralled — some by egalitarianism, others by exoticism. Elite American scientists, though, remained skeptical and continued to argue that China lagged in global, teleological scientific development. This paper traces how these two discourses competed through the 1970s. Further, it shows how the latter ultimately won out — not only among Americans but, more consequentially, within China itself.
About the Speaker
Pete Millwood is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at the University of Hong Kong. His first book-length project is a history of people-to-people diplomacy in the US-China rapprochement of the 1970s. Under contract with Cambridge University Press, the book examines the role of Americans and Chinese outside of government in rebuilding the relationship between the two societies and states. Dr Millwood's research has been published in Diplomatic History, the Journal of Contemporary History, and the Washington Post, among other places. He received his DPhil degree in History from St Antony’s College, Oxford, and then held postdoctoral fellowships at the London School of Economics and Oxford and Tsinghua universities.
This series aims to introduce a wide range of cutting-edge research in various disciplines and areas.