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Qing Colonial Enterprise: Ethnography and Cartography in Early Modern China

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Laura Hostetler here shows how Qing China (1636-1911) used cartography and ethnography to pursue its imperial ambitions. She argues that far from being on the periphery of developments in the early modern period, Qing China both participated in and helped shape the new emphasis on empirical scientific knowledge that was simultaneously transforming Europe—and its colonial empires—at the time.

Although mapping in China is almost as old as Chinese civilization itself, the Qing insistence on accurate scale maps of their territory was a new response to the difficulties of administering a vast and growing empire. Likewise, direct observation became increasingly important to Qing ethnographic writings, such as the illustrated manuscripts known as "Miao albums" (from which twenty color paintings are reproduced in this book). These were intended to educate Qing officials about various non-Han peoples so they could govern these groups more effectively. Hostetler's groundbreaking study provides a wealth of insights to anyone interested in the significance of cartography, the growth of empire, or this exciting period of Chinese history.

"This book makes a significant contribution to existing scholarship by drawing attention to the importance of visual representation in relation to the process of empire-building. This is a carefully researched, highly readable, and visually appealing work."—L. J. Newby, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

Synopsis:

In Qing Colonial Enterprise, Laura Hostetler shows how Qing China (1636-1911) used cartography and ethnography to pursue its expansionist imperial ambitions. She argues that far from being on the periphery of developments in the early modern period, Qing China both participated in and helped shape the new emphasis on empirical scientific knowledge that was simultaneously transforming Europe—and its colonial empires—at the time.

Although mapping in China is almost as old as Chinese civilization itself, the Qing insistence on accurate, to-scale maps of their territory was a new response to the difficulties of administering a vast and growing empire. Likewise, direct observation became increasingly important to Qing ethnographic writings, such as the illustrated manuscripts known as "Miao albums" (from which twenty color paintings are reproduced in this book). These were intended to educate Qing officials about various non-Han peoples in the interest of more effective governance.

Hostetler's groundbreaking account will interest anyone studying the history of the early modern period and colonialism.

About the Author

Laura Hostetler is assistant professor in and associate chair of the Department of History at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Table of Contents

Note on Romanization

List of Tables, Maps, Figures, and Color Plates

Preface and Acknowledgments

Introduction: Cartography and Ethnography as Early Modern Modes of Representation

1. The Qing Empire: Constructing a Place in the Eighteenth-Century World

2. Mapping Territory

3. Depicting Peoples

4. Bringing Guizhou into the Empire

5. The Development of Ethnographic Writing in Guizhou Province, 1560-1834

6. Miao Albums: The Emergence of a Distinct Ethnographic Genre

7. The Evolution of a Genre: Miao Albums as Art and Objects of Study

Conclusion

Appendix: Bibliographic Information on Miao Albums

List of Abbreviations

Bibliography of Works Cited

Glossary

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226354217
Author:
Hostetler, Laura
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
Asia - China
Subject:
Cartography
Subject:
World History - China
Edition Description:
Paperback
Publication Date:
20051231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
20 color plates, 13 halftones, 6 maps, 4
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Engineering » Civil Engineering » Cartography
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
History and Social Science » Asia » China » Imperial to 1911
History and Social Science » World History » China

Qing Colonial Enterprise: Ethnography and Cartography in Early Modern China New Trade Paper
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Product details 288 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226354217 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
In Qing Colonial Enterprise, Laura Hostetler shows how Qing China (1636-1911) used cartography and ethnography to pursue its expansionist imperial ambitions. She argues that far from being on the periphery of developments in the early modern period, Qing China both participated in and helped shape the new emphasis on empirical scientific knowledge that was simultaneously transforming Europe—and its colonial empires—at the time.

Although mapping in China is almost as old as Chinese civilization itself, the Qing insistence on accurate, to-scale maps of their territory was a new response to the difficulties of administering a vast and growing empire. Likewise, direct observation became increasingly important to Qing ethnographic writings, such as the illustrated manuscripts known as "Miao albums" (from which twenty color paintings are reproduced in this book). These were intended to educate Qing officials about various non-Han peoples in the interest of more effective governance.

Hostetler's groundbreaking account will interest anyone studying the history of the early modern period and colonialism.

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