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How Knowledge MovesWriting the Transnational History of Science and Technology$
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John Krige

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226605852

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226606040.001.0001

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Afterword: Reflections on Writing the Transnational History of Science and Technology

Afterword: Reflections on Writing the Transnational History of Science and Technology

(p.411) Afterword: Reflections on Writing the Transnational History of Science and Technology
How Knowledge Moves

Michael J. Barany

John Krige

University of Chicago Press

In this afterword, a senior and a junior scholar reflect on the project’s lessons for this field. We focus on the centrality of the United States as a locus for transnational movements of knowledge and expertise in the twentieth century. This centrality is symptomatic of the pertinence of state power and national identity to transnational analyses when knowledge moves. Contributors turn attention to travel rather than circulation to bring out the labor and contingency involved in crossing borders, and to expand the range of "actors" to include material infrastructure and equipment needed to produce knowledge at different sites. We recognize the challenges of incorporating subaltern as well as elite narratives, of distinguishing portable scientific knowledge from less formal but no less meaningful forms of knowledge, of integrating hybrid national and scientific loyalties and ideologies, of being sensitive to the dominant — but facilitating — role of English in transnational encounters, and of crossing disciplinary borders to open rich seams of historical activity and multifarious perspectives. We place this transnational engagement and its cosmopolitan foundations and ambitions within the present moment in international politics, joining the project’s historiographical stakes to the political stakes of living in an interconnected, interdependent world.

Keywords:   state power, border crossing, hybridity, portable knowledge, subaltern, national identity, cosmpolitanism, transnational analysis, historiography, international politics

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