Taiwan's Imagined Geography: Chinese Colonial Travel Writing and Pictures, 1683-1895

Front Cover
Harvard Univ Asia Center, 2006 - History - 370 pages
0 Reviews

Until 300 years ago, the Chinese considered Taiwan a "land beyond the seas," a "ball of mud" inhabited by "naked and tattooed savages." The incorporation of this island into the Qing empire in the seventeenth century and its evolution into a province by the late nineteenth century involved not only a reconsideration of imperial geography but also a reconceptualization of the Chinese domain. The annexation of Taiwan was only one incident in the much larger phenomenon of Qing expansionism into frontier areas that resulted in a doubling of the area controlled from Beijing and the creation of a multi-ethnic polity. The author argues that travelers' accounts and pictures of frontiers such as Taiwan led to a change in the imagined geography of the empire. In representing distant lands and ethnically diverse peoples of the frontiers to audiences in China proper, these works transformed places once considered non-Chinese into familiar parts of the empire and thereby helped to naturalize Qing expansionism.

By viewing Taiwan-China relations as a product of the history of Qing expansionism, the author contributes to our understanding of current political events in the region.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

An Island Beyond the Seas Enters the Map
34
Savagery
60
Landscape
81
Racial and Ethnical Discourses
101
Classifying Taiwans
122
Visual Representations
149
The Discourse of Gender
173
NineteenthCentury
194
Opening the Mountains and Pacifying the Savages
209
A Excerpts from Yu Yonghes Small Sea Travelogue
261
B Excerpts from Ding Shaoyis Brief Record of
281
Notes
287
Works Cited
327
Character List
341
Index
349
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2006)

Emma J. Teng is Professor of Chinese Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology .

Bibliographic information