DFG (German Research Foundation) project "Making Technology Appropriate: Technology Transfer from Germany to China. The Case of Steam and Ordnance Technologies, 1860-1980"
The DFG (German Research Foundation) has granted the research project "Making Technology Appropriate: Technology Transfer from Germany to China. The Case of Steam and Ordnance Technologies, 1860-1980". The project is situated at the Center for Cultural Studies on Science and Technology in China (TU Berlin) and is being led by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang König. It is carried out in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Zhang Baichun, Institute for the History of Natural Sciences at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing) and Prof. Dr. Mareile Flitsch, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Zurich.
Adaptation and Appropriation
The project deals with the history of technology transfer between Germany and China from 1860-1980. Its particular focus is on the adaptation and appropriation of technology by the recipient Chinese culture. This will be researched based on two case studies: one on the ordnance industry, particularly cannons and rifles, and the other one on steam technology applied in traffic, particularly locomotives and road rollers. Appropriation in the project’s context means: (1) alteration of the artefacts themselves, (2) adaptation of the environment to the new technology, (3) modifying the use of the new technology including maintenance and repair, and (4) training of local personnel. In addition to literature and archival work, a particularity of the project will be the analysis of the remaining artefacts with methods from engineering science.