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.
Buy Qing Colonial Enterprise book by Laura Hostetler from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(227mm x 181mm x 16mm)
University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
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Author Biography - Laura Hostetler
Laura Hostetler is assistant professor in and associate chair of the Department of History at the University of Illinois at Chicago.