Writing Ecologies: Chinese Medicine Agriculture: To Taste 100 Herbs and Cure 800 Orange Trees

When and Where

Tuesday, February 28, 2023 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
EAS Lounge - 14th Floor
Robarts Library Building
130 St George Street


Sigrid Schmalzer, University of Massachusetts Amherst
MengRan Xu, PhD Candidate Department of East Asian Studies


Please join us for the second event in the Writing Ecologies speaker series: Chinese Medicine Agriculture: To Taste 100 Herbs and Cure 800 Orange Trees

'Chinese Medicine Agriculture: To Taste 100 Herbs and Cure 800 Orange Trees', is one chapter from Sigrid Schmalzer's current book project, Heritage and Survival: The Power of Agricultural Knowledge in People’s Republic of China.

Engaging with key concepts such as 'traditional agriculture,' 'agroecological system,' and 'food sovereignty' in the context of socialist and post-socialist China, her book examines a series of case studies of agriculture, ranging from integrated fish farming, plant-based insecticides, and Chinese medicine agriculture to networks for seed preservation and exchange. Through these case studies, she explores the intertwined themes of knowledge, environment, and history, while confronting the thorny dilemmas of state power, capitalism, and technocracy.   

Sigrid Schmalzer is a Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she specializes in the social, cultural, and political aspects of the history of science in modern China. She is the author of two award-winning books in the field of PRC history, The People’s Peking Man: Popular Science and Human Identity in Twentieth Century China and Red Revolution, Green Revolution: Scientific Farming in Socialist China.

In addition to her scholarly work, Professor Schmalzer is also a prominent figure in the history of science activism, having contributed to a number of notable projects, including the writing of a well-received children’s picture book and the revitalization of Science for the People, the most important radical science movement in U.S. history.  

No registration required, just come along. 

Speaker Series:
Writing Ecologies: Environmental Humanities and East Asia is a new monthly Speaker Series, which brings together recent scholarship experimenting with ecocritical and greater-than-human approaches in the context of East Asia.

'Writing ecologies' entails the practice of pushing the edges of conventional anthropocentric narratives in history, literary studies, anthropology and beyond. Seeking to respond to the urgency of addressing environmental questions in the humanities and social sciences, we are excited to present a great lineup of speakers and embark on a journey to trace the glimmers of entanglements between humans, land, water, animals, plants, fungi, and much more.

With situated research and stories in East Asia, this series foregrounds critical interventions that advance our understanding of the global environmental crisis and enrich our imagination of a more habitable future.

Writing Ecologies: Environmental Humanities and East Asia: Monthly Speaker Series is organized by Qieyi Liu and MengRan Xu. PhD Candidates in the Department of East Asian Studies