The Social Life of Inkstones: An Interview

Dorothy Ko’s new book is a must-read. Troubling the hierarchy of head over hands and the propensity to denigrate craftsmen in Chinese history, The Social Life of Inkstones: Artisans and Scholars in Early Qing China (University of Washington Press, 2017) explores the place of inkstones in the early Qing political project in a story that places ink-grinding stones and their craftspersons at the center. Ko’s book takes us to a series of places, in each case opening out into a beautifully written and careful analysis of text and material. You can listen to us talking about the book for the New Books in East Asian Studies podcast by clicking on this link.