China & Inner Asia: Table of Contents
Organizer: Emma Teng, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Chair and Discussant: James Millward, Georgetown University
Maps are generally treated as passive reflections of territorial authority, but recent studies of both Asian and European history have begun to examine maps as both discourses and technologies fundamental to the creation of states. This panel explores how Qing Chinas empire-builders employed the symbolic and administrative powers of the map to incorporate frontier space, a process officials vividly described as ru bantu or "entering the map." Our panelists take an interdisciplinary approach to explain how various cartographic and textual traditions were employed in mapping the Qing frontiers and how the different cartographic representations influenced the conception of empire.
Hermans paper examines how seventeenth-century Chinese maps of Guizhous Shuixi region asserted Ming and Qing control over Shuixi and recorded each transformative step in the process of territorial integration. Focusing on both traditional Chinese and Jesuit maps of Guizhou, Hostetler situates the mapping of China within an international project of early modern geographical learning. Teng examines the relationship between Qing gazetteer maps of Taiwan and seventeenth- and eighteenth-century travel literature in order to elucidate how image and text combined to represent the frontier as an "empty land" open for Qing conquest. Giersch studies how the demarcation and mapping of the Yunnan-Burma border during the 1890s simultaneously preserved and transformed traditional Qing conceptions of the region and how this project later helped initiate an erstwhile frontier zone as a full-fledged part of modern China.
John E. Herman, Virginia Commonwealth University
Between 1600 and 1800 Chinas southwest frontier (the provinces of Guizhou, Yunnan, and southern Sichuan) was transformed from a poorly understood and seldom visited periphery in the Ming dynasty (13681644) into an integral part of the Qing empire (16441912). The intent of this paper is to examine the role of Chinese cartographic practices in the transformation of Chinas southwest frontier. Specifically, this paper will argue that the style and content of seventeenth-century maps of Guizhou differed noticeably from their fifteenth and sixteenth-century predecessors, and that seventeenth-century maps of Guizhou increasingly asserted Chinese political, social, and economic control over heretofore semi-independent tusi (native chieftain) areas within Guizhou, in particular the Shuixi region. Located in northwest Guizhou, the Shuixi region encompassed an area roughly equal in size to the island of Taiwan. Despite repeated attempts by the late Ming state to eliminate tusi rule and establish civilian institutions (prefectures, departments, and counties) in Shuixi, it was not until Wu Sanguis occupation of the southwest in the 1660s and 1670s that tusi rule in Shuixi was eliminated. However, following the War of the Three Feudatories (16731681) the Qing state decided to re-introduce tusi rule throughout much of the Shuixi region, only to reverse itself again in the 1720s and eliminate tusi rule in favor of civilian institutions. In short, this paper will show how maps can be used as texts to describe territorial conquest.
Laura Hostetler, University of Illinois, Chicago
Scholars of early modern Europe now recognize parallels between the development of cartography, the growth of national consciousness, and an era of exploration abroad. Qing dynasty (16441911) pursuit of accurate cartographic representation of the Chinese empire is contemporaneous with these developments in Europe. Between 1708 and 1718 Chinas Kangxi emperor (r. 16621722) commissioned a team of French Jesuit missionaries in his service to survey and map the extent of his empire. His project coincided roughly with Peter the Greats mapping of Russia, French Jesuit cartographic projects in the New World and early British colonial exploits in India. However, the question of possible connections between early European expansion and the adoption of new technologies of empire-building in early eighteenth-century China is only beginning to be examined. Focusing particularly on Chinas southwest province of Guizhou, I propose to situate the mapping of China within the larger early modern project of geographical learning in order to explore the possibility that Qing China may have been more closely linked into an early modern world system than heretofore recognized.
Emma Teng, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The complementarity between gazetteer maps and text is one of the special features of the Chinese cartographic tradition. This paper explores the interrelation between the visual imagery in Qing gazetteer maps of Taiwan and seventeenth- and eighteenth-century travel writings that were commonly quoted in the Taiwan gazetteers. My focus is on the narrative aspects of the maps and their representation of Qing dominance over frontier space. A narrative of conquest can be read in a number of serial maps that depict the arrival of Chinese ships on Taiwans shores, or the gradual spread of Chinese settlements. Qing dominance over space is effected through a number of means: the inscription of Chinese names on the landscape, the focus on, or foregrounding of Chinese centers of settlement, the displacement of indigenous villages to the margins of maps, or the utter erasure of indigenous presence from the landscape. I argue that the cartographic representation of Taiwan as uninhabited wilderness corresponds to the trope of "empty lands" in the travel literature, a trope that was used as an ideological justification for the Chinese appropriation and "civilization" of "wasted" indigenous lands by pro-colonization writers. The handful of maps which do incorporate ethnographic cartouches of indigenes engaged in "typical" activities form a sharp contrast to the majority of gazetteer maps. Such maps provide an opportunity to explore the relation between maps and ethnographic illustrations.
C. Patterson Giersch, Yale University
It has become common to note that the Qing dynastys conquests provided the territorial basis for modern China. This seemingly simple statement conceals the complex processes that produced a sovereign modern state from a pre-modern empire. Integral to this transformation, for instance, were changes in how territorial authorityespecially on the frontierwas conceived and represented. This paper links changing Qing dynasty (16441911) representations of the boundary to the creation of the modern Chinese national state by studying the demarcation and mapping of the Yunnan frontier during the 1890s.
First, the paper presents evidence which suggests that early and mid-Qing officials conceived of the Yunnan frontier as divided from foreign domains by a zone, not a line. These lands in-between harbored the indigenous ruler (tusi) domains, places ideally under Qing jurisdiction but still not considered equal to the empires "internal lands." Second, it examines how British and Qing representatives negotiated, demarcated, and mapped a linear border between most of upper Burma and southwest Yunnan in the 1890s. This project changed how peripheral Yunnan was represented and conceived. Finally, the paper suggests that this new representation of the Yunnan frontier, inscribed on maps, influenced post-imperial Chinese statesmen as well as foreign powers to consider the erstwhile frontier "zone" as a full-fledged part of modern China.