Fordham Notes: Faculty Book Deconstructs Lay of the Land, In China

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Faculty Book Deconstructs Lay of the Land, In China

Grace Shen's book just published with University of Chicago Press, Unearthing the Nation: Modern Geology and National Identity in Republican China, 1911-1949, tackles the points at which history and science intersect--through a study of Chinese geology in the 20th century.

In it, Shen, assistant professor of history, expands on her doctoral thesis to explore the “multiple valences of the land itself—as territory, resource, physical environment, and native place,” she writes, and “ways that models of science and nation converged in geological activity.” Battling the 20th-century encroachment of western powers and ideas, Chinese geologists, she says, looked for ways to associate their scientific studies with political and cultural loyalties to their country.

The U of C press describes it as the "first major history of modern Chinese geology." Read more about Shen here from an interview in Inside Fordham.

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