Book Series: Activist Studies of Science and Technology
I am launching a book series with UMass Press titled "Activist Studies of Science and Technology."
The series will publish accessible, engaging books on science and technology in support of movements for justice and sustainability around the world. We are especially interested in publishing:
- Historical and social science research on social and political activism in science, technology, and/or medicine and on the impact of new technologies on activism
- Critical histories of science, technology, or medicine that aid in understanding issues of current political relevance
- Applications of STS (science and technology studies) theory to support social movements and/or to reconstruct technoscience along activist lines
- Critical studies in the political economy of science, technology, and/or medicine
- Biographies, oral histories, and memoirs of activist scientists
Revitalization of Science for the People
In the years since the UMass conference "Science for the People: The 1970s and Today
," organizers around the country have taken up the work of revitalizing SftP
. I am proud to be a part of that effort. We had our first national convention in February, 2018 in Ann Arbor. There are now chapters in numerous places around the U.S., along with an affiliated organization in Mexico City. Our local Western Mass chapter
is focusing on: 1) community solidarity work with Arise for Social Justice around mold hazards, air pollution, and other environmental justice issues; and 2) developing K-12 science and social justice curricula.
Union Organizing: MTA/MSP All In Campaign
In anticipation of the recent Janus decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Massachusetts Society of Professors
and our parent union, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, launched an "All In" campaign. We know that workers do better when we are unionized, and we know the essential contribution labor organizing has made to social and economic justice in U.S. history. Now more than ever we need to commit ourselves to building the labor movement. I am proud to be a vice-president of the MSP charged with leading the All In campaign at UMass Amherst.
"Another World is Possible: Revolutionary Visions, Past and Present"
I am one of the organizers for the UMass History Department's 2018 Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series
. The Zapatistas tell us, “Another World Is Possible.” Activists in the past have often been guided by the same belief: that alternatives to an unjust status quo are both conceivable and achievable. On the 50th anniversary of the mass movements of 1968, and in the face of growing threats to democracy, to racial, gender, and economic justice, and to environmental sustainability, the 2018 Feinberg Series explores such revolutionary imaginations of the future. Historian Robin D.G. Kelley calls these visions “freedom dreams”--that is, “what people in particular movements dreamed of, what they thought they were fighting for.” Series events and initiatives will explore the radical imaginations of intellectuals, artists, political leaders, renegade thinkers, community organizers, and everyday people who have worked to make another world possible.
History of Agricultural Terracing in the People's Republic of China
I am building on my recent research on the history of agricultural science in the PRC with a new project on the history of agricultural heritage studies and terracing campaigns. This research began with two visits to Wangjinzhuang in She County, Hebei, where they practice dry-land terracing with rock weirs. I have plans to travel to southern paddy-terracing sites as well as to the Loess Plateau. This project involves revisionist history (recovering the significant emphasis on conservation in Mao-era terracing campaigns) and a constructively critical perspective on current efforts to promote "traditional" terracing knowledge and preserve "agricultural heritage."
The People's Peking Man: Popular Science and Human Identity in Twentieth-Century China
(University of Chicago Press, 2008). Winner of the 2009 Allan Sharlin Award
from the Social Science History Association.
James A. Cook, Joshua Goldstein, Matthew D. Johnson, and Sigrid Schmalzer, eds., Visualizing Modern China: Image, History, and Memory, 1750-Present
(Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2015), with accompanying website.
Articles and Book Chapters
- “Toward a Transnational, Trans-1978 History of Food Politics in China: An Exploratory Paper,” PRC History Review 3.1 (2018), available online 31 Oct. 2017.
- (co-authored) "Roundtable: New Narratives of the Green Revolution," Agricultural History 91.3 (2017): 397-422.
- "Yuan Longping, Hybrid Rice, and the Meaning of Science in the Cultural Revolution and Beyond," Endeavor 41.3 (2017): 94-101.
- “Teaching the History of Radical Science with Materials on Science for the People (1969-1989),” Radical History Review 127 (2017): 173-79.
- Madhumita Saha and Sigrid Schmalzer, “Green-Revolution Epistemologies in China and India: Technocracy and Revolution in the Production of Scientific Knowledge and Peasant Identity,” British Journal for the History of Science Themes, 1-23. published on line 23 March 2016.
- "Youth and the 'Great Revolutionary Movement' of Scientific Experiment in 1960s-70s Rural China," in Jeremy Brown and Matthew Johnson, eds. Maoism at the Grassroots (Harvard University Press, 2015).
- "Self-Reliant Science: The Impact of the Cold War on Science in Socialist China," in Naomi Oreskes and John Krige, eds. Science and Technology in the Global Cold War (MIT Press, 2014).
- "Insect Control in Socialist China and the Corporate Unites States: the Act of Comparison, the Tendency to Forget, and the Construction of Difference in 1970s U.S.-Chinese Scientific Exchange," Isis 104.2 (2013): 303-329.
- "Speaking about China, Learning from China: Amateur China Experts in 1970s America," Journal of American-East Asian Relations, December 2009.
- "On the Appropriate Use of Rose-Colored Glasses: Reflections on Science in Socialist China," Isis 98.3:571-583, September 2007.
- "Popular Science, A Useful and Productive Category after All", Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 42.5 (2012): 590-600.
- "The Very First Lesson: Teaching about Human Evolution in 1950s China," in Dilemmas of Victory, ed. Jeremy Brown and Paul Pickowicz (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2007).
- "Labor Created Humanity: Cultural Revolution Science on Its Own Terms," in The Chinese Cultural Revolution as History, ed. Joseph Esherick, Paul Pickowicz, and Andrew Walder (Stanford, Cal.: Stanford University Press, 2006).
- "Fishing and Fishers in Penghu, Taiwan, 1895-1970," East Asian History 23:109-128, June 2002.
- "Breeding a Better China: Pigs, Practices, and Place in a Chinese County, 1929-1937," The Geographical Review 92(1): 1-22, January 2002.
Conference and Website
- "Science for the People: The 1970s and Today" (conference held 11-13 April 2014 at UMass Amherst; website preserves video of all speakers and panels along with archival materials documenting the history of the organization Science for the People)