Skills and Aging. New Trajectories in Anthropology of Technology

Seed Money Grant from the Sino Swiss Science and Technology Cooperation SSSTC Program for the Ethnographic Museum at the University of Zurich

For some years now, Western and Chinese historians of technology, agro-historians, anthropologists have included material and immaterial heritage as well as everyday technology issues into their research agendas. To the applicants, Prof. Dr. Mareile Flitsch, UZH and Prof. Dr. DU Fachun from Yunnan Agricultural University, PR of China, it is time to link European and Chinese scientific communities in this field to look at a topic which still is dramatically under-researched: skills and aging. An upcoming research cooperation, to which this seed money project will be a first step, addresses the field of practical knowledge transmission in a holistic perspective. What happens if technical modernization cuts lifelong knowledge? How do aging farmers perceive, solve issues of knowledge transmission and preservation? Joint research and academic exchange has started with the SNF research project "Tilling with Knives and Planting with Fire": Socio-technical Transformations and Senses of Place of Steep-slope Cultivation Communities in Yunnan (PR of China) in Times of Climate Change (Rebekka Sutter and Mareile Flitsch) and will be carried through among steep slope cultivators in Switzerland and in Yunnan.