Francesca Bray


Guidance and Feedback Hours: by appointment, Room 5.02, 58 George Square


Biographical statement

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 just been elected President of the international Society for the History of Technology (SHOT).

My publications include: The Rice Economies: Technology and Development in Asian Societies (1986; 1994); Technology and Gender: Fabrics of Power in Late Imperial China (1997); and Technology and Society in Ming China, 1368-1644 (2000). More recently I have published on genetically modified crops, on spatial practices and on sustainable landscapes. The Warp and the Weft, a collection on technical illustration and visual representation in China, was published by Brill in 2007. Gender and Technology, a review article comparing anthropological and STS perspectives, is available in the Annual Review of Anthropology (36) 2007. I edited a special issue on 'Constructing intimacy: technology, family and gender in East Asia' in East Asian Science, Technology & Society in 2008. Technology, gender and history in imperial China: great transformations reconsidered will be published by Routledge in 2013. A co-edited book Global Rice: Promiscuity, Knowledge and Power is in press with Cambridge.

For more on my research and teaching interests, and for my online study of California's toilet culture, see http://www.anth.ucsb.edu/faculty/bray/

Selected Publications

 book cover, Bray                                   book cover: Bray

Photo: Francesca Bray