Field: East Asia/China
Advisor: Dorothy Ko
Wilson focuses his research on the material culture and history of science of early modern China. Seeking to be a Renaissance man, he attempts to cross the boundary between internal and external histories of science by an investigation into writing implements in early modern China. In this investigation he researches the technology of making, the interaction between craftsmen and literati, the usage in calligraphy and painting, and also the business, circulation and connoisseurship of these writing implements. His other research interests span Chinese medical history, history of the book and Chinese landscape painting (Song painting in particular). Before coming to Columbia, he obtained his BA (2007) and MPhil (2010) at the University of Hong Kong, where he conducted research on the contributions of Chen Li, a classical scholar of late Qing Guangdong province, to the foundation of modern scholarship. In his leisure time Wilson is a keen lover and practitioner of Chinese calligraphy and, at the same time, a collector of inksticks and inkstones from early modern and contemporary China.