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Thomas DuBois: China’s Dairy Century – Making, Drinking and Dreaming of Milk

November 6, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Speaker: Thomas DuBois, Modern China Historian

China’s dairy industry has of late become big news. A country that few would have instinctively associated with milk has emerged as the world’s third largest producer (following India and the United States), and second largest consumer of dairy. But the significance of dairy in China is not merely one of aggregate industry size, nor is its emergence a wholly recent phenomenon.

Milk was not a major theme in China’s twentieth century, but it was a surprisingly persistent one. Looking back, one will see peaks of interest—a new dairy here, milk safety scandal there, and images of happy, milk-fed babies throughout. But do these very different sorts of events constitute a single story? This presentation examines China’s century of dairy as three distinct processes—production, consumption and culture—discussing each according to its own sources, standards and logic. Besides introducing a vital transformation within China’s animal industries, this talk aims to introduce some new ways to think about how we make, consume and think about food.

Thomas DuBois is a historian of modern China, and author of three monographs on religion and social transformation, most recently Empire and the Meaning of Religion in Northeast Asia: Manchuria 1900-1945 (Cambridge, 2017). He has also written extensively on other topics of the social and legal history of the twentieth century, including charities, sovereignty and the resurgence of the NGO sector. DuBois has taught at universities in the US, Singapore and Australia. His current research on China’s animal industries is funded by the Australian Research Council and the History and Anthropology Project at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

More of his publications may be found at https://independent.academia.edu/ThomasDavidDuBois杜博思


November 6, 2017
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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CGIS Knafel K262
1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States
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Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

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