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

Selected Publications

 book cover, Bray                                   book cover: Bray

Photo: Francesca Bray