"Technologies of Extraction and the World that Carbon Made," Victor Seow

Event date: 
September 27, 2022 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Seminar Series: 
History of Science Colloquium
Audience: 
By Invitation Only

Technologies of Extraction and the World that Carbon Made

Victor Seow
Assistant Professor of the History of Science
Harvard University

Dickinson Hall 211 & Zoom

For questions, to RSVP, or get the zoom link, please contact Lee Horinko at lhorinko@princeton.edu.


Victor Seow (pronounced “meow” with an “s”) is a historian of technology, science, and industry. He specializes in China and Japan in the long twentieth century and in histories of energy and work. At the core, his research revolves around questions of how technoscientific developments intersect with economic life and environmental change in the making and unmaking of industrial society. Victor is the author of Carbon Technocracy: Energy Regimes in Modern East Asia (Chicago: University of Chicago Press), a study of the deep links between energy extraction and technocratic politics through the history of what was once East Asia’s largest coal mine. At present, Victor is researching and writing his second book, Human Factors: The Science of Work and the Nature of Labor. Through a history of industrial psychology in China from the 1930s to the present, this book asks how work became a subject of scientific inquiry and how the sciences of work shaped and have been shaped by wider societal discourses about the meaning and value of labor. He is also engaged in two collaborative projects: one on Mr. Science in May Fourth China and beyond (co-led with Sean Hsiang-lin Lei of Academia Sinica); the other on technologies of production and estates of knowledge in East Asia (co-led with Dagmar Schäfer of the Max Planck Institute).