School of Social and Political Science

Francesca Bray

Job Title

Professor Emerita

Background

I began my research career working on the history of agriculture and of science, technology and medicine in China. After a wonderful year of ethnographic fieldwork, which I spent in Kelantan, Malaysia splashing through the mud of paddy-fields and learning from farmers how they negotiated the challenges of Green Revolution technology, I expanded my interests to anthropology and issues of rural development. More recently, through my interest in the macro- and micro-politics of everyday technologies (including food, housing, communications and hygiene), I have become involved in collaborative projects not only with anthropologists, historians and development studies specialists, but also with STS scholars, and I have recently served as President of the international Society for the History of Technology (SHOT).

Current collaborative research projects include: Moving crops and the scales of history https://www.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/research/projects/moving-crops-and-scale-history; Making modernity in East Asia: technologies of everyday life, 19th - 21st centuries http://mmea.hku.hk/

For my online study of California's toilet culture, soon to be revived and updated, see http://www.anth.ucsb.edu/faculty/bray/

Recent and key publications

Science and Confucian Statecraft in East Asia, ed. Francesca Bray and Jongtae Lim, Leiden, Brill 2019. https://brill-com.ezproxy.is.ed.ac.uk/view/title/33365

‘Science cultures’, in Laura Grindstaff, Ming-Cheng Lo and John R. Hall (eds), Routledge Handbook of Cultural Sociology, 2nd ed., 2019: 446-455. https://www.routledge.com/Routledge-Handbook-of-Cultural-Sociology-2nd-Edition/Grindstaff-Lo-Hall/p/book/9781138288621

‘Feeding the farmers, feeding the nation: the Long Green Revolution in Kelantan, Malaysia’, in James L. Watson and Jakob Klein (eds), Handbook of Food and Anthropology, London: Bloomsbury, 2016: 173-199. http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/the-handbook-of-food-and-anthropology-9780857855947/

Rice: Global Networks and New Histories (Cambridge, 2015): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rice-Global-Networks-New-Histories/dp/1107044391

Technology, Gender and History in Imperial China: Great Transformations Reconsidered (Routledge, 2013): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Technology-Gender-History-Imperial-China/dp/041563959X/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1435745053&sr=1-4

'Tools for virtuous action: technology, skills and ordinary ethics', in Charles Stafford (ed): Ordinary Ethics in China (LSE Monographs on Social Anthropology, 2013): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ordinary-Ethics-Monographs-Social-Anthropology/dp/0857854607

Research interests

Research interests

Topics interested in supervising

I am no longer accepting new students.

Works within