Xincheng Shen

Ph.D. Student

Member Of:
  • School of History and Sociology
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Xincheng received his B.A. and M.A. in China in archaeology and museum studies at Peking University and Fudan University. He received an M.A. in museum anthropology at Columbia University in the city of New York, and had worked for American Museum of Natural History, 9/11 National Memorial, and New York Historical Society. He is a Ph.D student in urban history of East Asia. With a particular focus on civil engineering and hydraulic infrastructures --- water supply, plumbing fixture, and sewer system, his research reexamines the colonial history of Shanghai in the lens of sanitary technology: its diffusion, adoption, and localization. Challenging a clear-cut definition of modernity by invoking the cases of London and New York City, his work aims to disrupt the conventional narrative regarding colonial urban China, and to associate the concept of sanitation with broader social and economic activities --- agricultural productivity, history of medicine, and sustainable population --- so that the traditional practices are to be reinterpreted on a new ground of rationality.

Faculty Advisor:  Hanchao Lu
  • M.A. in Museum Anthropology at Columbia University in the City of New York
  • M.A. in Archaeology at Fudan University
  • B.A. in Museum Studies at Peking University
Areas of
  • East Asia
  • History Of Technology
  • Sanitary Infrastructure And Public Health
  • Urban History
Research Fields:
  • Agriculture, Health, and the Environment
  • Global Cities and Urban Society
  • History of Technology/Engineering and Society
  • Modern Global History/Science, Technology, and Nationalism
  • U.S. Society and Politics/Policy Perspectives
  • Asia (East)
  • Europe - United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Diffusion of Technology
  • Infrastructure
  • Modernity
  • Technology
  • HTS-3061: Modern China