Chang Ku-ming

Years of Stay at HYI: 
Sep 2011 to Jul 2012

Ku-ming (Kevin) Chang received his Ph.D. in history at the University of Chicago in 2002. Trained in the history of science and medicine in early modern Europe, he works on the development of vitalist thinking in post-Cartesian Europe. He has also been working on the history of the dissertation as a genre of academic writing and publication, first on the formation of the modern dissertation in Germany, and then on its introduction to other European countries, North America, and East Asia. His project at Harvard Yenching is an extension of his work on the history of vitalism. It will investigate the appropriation of the German biologist and philosopher Hans Driesch's vitalist doctrine by skeptics of scientism in post-WWI China amid the debate on the value of science and the validity of Westernization for the future of the Chinese nation.