Xinyue Li


My Research

My research investigates to what extent, why, and how western meteorology replaced indigenous Chinese meteorological knowledge from the mid-seventeenth to the early twentieth century, and how it affected people’s daily life. Chinese society experienced unprecedented upheaval during these centuries. Confronted with the great change, people searched for new ways to perceive their society and nature and help the country develop. In this process, western meteorology based on measurement and calculation gained preference over indigenous Chinese meteorological knowledge and became a unitary recognized way to understand atmospheric phenomena. The main line through my research is the changing trend of meteorological knowledge in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I  look into why western meteorology, this subject, won preference and why this occurred at a certain time.  I am also interested in how and why premodern Chinese meteorological knowledge persisted in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

About me

I started my PhD program at CHSTM in October 2022. I got my BA. and MA. in Chinese History at Nankai University, China. Before turning to history of meteorology, I studied environmental history in modern China. Through my studies, I prefer to understand my research objects from cultural and social perspectives. Now I am a volunteer at Golden Mummies, Manchester Museums. I like street dance and am learning fencing.

Research Interests

History of Meteorology, Environmental History, Modern Chinese History

Presentations Given

“Fashionable Numbers: Altitude as Science and Embellishment in Mountain Travelogues in Modern China (1911-1945)”, 6th Biennial Conference of East Asian Environmental History (online), Kyoto University, Japan (Sept. 2021)

“The Role of Horse Carts Played in Widening the Urban-rural Gap: Tianjin 1949-1965”, 47th Annual Meeting of International Committee for the History of Technology (online), Eindhoven, Netherlands (Jul. 2020)