Saturday, July 26, Brunch, 10:30 a.m. “The Rice Theory of Culture” — Thomas Talhelm

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Date(s) - Saturday, July 26 2014
10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Thirsty Seahorse



The Rice Theory of Culture

Thomas Talhelm

Saturday, July 26

10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Doors open at 10:30 a.m.; Event starts at 11:00 a.m.


Recently published on the cover of Science, Talhelm’s study found large psychological differences between people in northern and southern China—and that these differences were correlated with the amount of rice historically grown in different provinces. Talhelm argues that rice farming’s staggering labor requirements and irrigation networks encouraged labor exchanges and tight, reciprocal relationships. In contrast, wheat’s lower labor and water requirements lead to the north’s more independent and free-wheeling culture. Talhelm’s research has been featured in the Economist (click here), National Geographic (click here), and NPR (click here).


Venue: Thirsty Seahorse

  205 Wulumuqi Nan Lu, near Zhaojiabang Lu

乌鲁木齐南路205号, 近肇家浜路

Admission: FCC members: 100 RMB; UVA students: 100 RMB; Non-members: 150 RMB

About the Speaker: 


Thomas Talhelm is a 2012-2013 Fulbright scholar to China and a PhD Candidate in social psychology at the University of Virginia. He researches cross-cultural differences and north-south cultural differences in China. He has lived in China (both north and south) for four years doing research, as a Princeton in Asia fellow, and as a freelance journalist. He is also founder of Smart Air, which promotes low-cost DIY air filters as an alternative to the high-priced air purifier market.




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