Stefan Kaufmann

Fellow’s Talk: Shihan Zheng on Opium Addiction in 19th-Century China

2022–23 Fellow's Talk. Opium Addiction in Nineteenth-Century China. Ph.D. Candidate History, Shihan Zheng, with a response by Stefan Kaufmann. September 21, 2022, 3:30pm. Humanities Institute Conference Room. This event will also be livestreamed.

Opium Addiction in Nineteenth-Century China

Shihan Zheng (Ph.D. Candidate, History, UConn)

with a response by Stefan Kaufmann (Linguistics, UConn)

Wednesday, September 21, 2022, 3:30pm, Humanities Institute Conference Room (HBL 4-209)

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The event will also be livestreamed with automated captioning.

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Compared to Euro-American experience with opium, the story of opium smoking in nineteenth-century China appears strikingly peculiar. Western observers at the time believed that opium smoking was a symbol of incompetence, backwardness, and immorality—all the ills of traditional Chinese civilization. Thus, the discussion of opium was always incorporated in a broader criticism of Chinese customs that were viewed as archaic, uncivilized, and barbaric. Historians have highlighted the political and economic influence of opium in late-imperial China, but a thorough study of the dynamic and complicated history of the ideas related to opium addiction has not yet been done. This study seeks to trace the origins and development of discourse on opium addiction in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century China. Shihan Zheng hopes to suggest that the creation of languages and ideas of opium addiction was part of the knowledge productions at the turn of the twentieth century, and the efforts to find the “cure” for the drug addiction had direct relevance to China’s experience with “modernity.”

Shihan Zheng is a History doctoral candidate at the University of Connecticut. His research interests include conceptual history, medical history, drug and addiction studies, and history of science. At UCHI, he will work on his dissertation project, “The Opium Discourse in China, 1830–1910.” This study will bring out nuances of the story of opium in China that have been neglected in historical literature, highlight the role of opium discourse in the construction of Chinese modernity, and help us better understand contemporary China.

Stefan Kaufmann is an Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Connecticut. His research revolves around the meaning and use of language: how information is encoded in linguistic expressions, the range of variability of this encoding across languages, and what linguistic patterns can reveal about the way speakers view and think about themselves and their physical and social surroundings. Kaufmann’s current project focuses on the the language of time and possibility, in relation to notions like uncertainty, causality, and hypothetical reasoning. Kaufmann has published numerous articles and book chapters on these topics. He will be working on a book manuscript at UCHI.

Access note

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057. We can request ASL interpretation, computer-assisted real time transcription, and other accommodations offered by the Center for Students with Disabilities.

DHMS Presents Algorithmic Arts & Humanities at UConn

DHMS: Algorithmic Arts and Humanities at UConn. October 21, 2021, 12:30pm. HBL 4-209

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057. We can request ASL interpreting, computer-assisted real time transcription, and other accommodations offered by the Center for Students with Disabilities.

The Digital Humanities and Media Studies Initiative presents:

Algorithmic Arts and Humanities at UConn

Kyle Booten, Sue Huang, Stefan Kaufmann, and Anna Lindemann

October 21, 2021, 12:30–2:00pm
Homer Babbidge Library, 4-209
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This event will also be livestreamed with automated captioning. Register to attend virtually.

“Algorithmic Arts & Humanities” will feature presentations by four faculty members from various disciplines at UConn. Their innovative artworks, research, and scholarship draw on computational methods, and range from those incorporating natural language processing and machine learning to generative musical composition.

Kyle Booten is an assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. Previously he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Neukom Institute for Computational Science at Dartmouth College. His research on computer-mediated writing has recently appeared in electronic book review, Proceedings of the International Conference on Computational Creativity, and Proceedings of the Electronic Literature Organization Conference and Media Festival. His computer-mediated and -generated poetic work has appeared in venues such as Boston Review, Lana Turner, Taper, and Fence. In Fall 2020, he was poet-in-residence at Nokturno.fi.

Sue Huang is a new media artist whose work addresses collective experience. Her current projects explore ecological intimacies, human/nonhuman relations, and speculative futures. Huang has exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles; the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) in Cincinnati; Philadelphia Contemporary; Rhizome at the New Museum in New York; and Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria. Huang has received grants and commissions from Rhizome, the A.R.T. (the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation), the James Irvine Foundation (MOCA, Los Angeles), Creative Scotland (NEoN), and the SCHARP Development Award (UCHI), among others. She received her MFA in Media Arts at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and her BS in Science, Technology, and International Affairs from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Huang is currently a second-year member of the Creative Science track at NEW INC, supported by Science Sandbox (Simons Foundation). She is an assistant professor of Digital Media Design at the University of Connecticut.

Stefan Kaufmann is Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Connecticut. His main research interests lie in the area of semantics, pragmatics, and computational linguistics. For more information visit his website.

Anna Lindemann calls herself an Evo Devo artist. Her work combines animation, music, video, and performance to explore the emerging field of Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Evo Devo). Her work seeks to uncover narratives within rigorous scientific research, to visualize biological processes in novel ways, to define new artistic creative processes modeled on biological processes, and to examine the human emotion and subjectivity behind scientific research. Her Evo Devo Art, including the animated short Beetle Bluffs and the art-science performance Theory of Flight, has been featured nationally and internationally at black box theaters, planetariums, galleries, concert halls, biology conferences, film festivals, digital art conferences, and natural history museums. Anna graduated from Yale with a BS in Biology before receiving an MFA in Integrated Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is an Assistant Professor in the department of Digital Media & Design at UConn where she has pioneered courses integrating art and science. www.annalindemann.com