Jun 29, 2020
Locality and Geographical Knowledge in Imperial China I
- 16:00 to 17:30
- Dept. III
Please note that the workshop takes place on June 29 and July 1, 2020 on Zoom (16:00-17:30).
For over two millennia of Chinese imperial history, geography played an integral role not only in local and state administration, but also in literary and visual representations. As officials and literati collected and organized geographical data and knowledge, such efforts at local levels demonstrated both proximity to and distance from the centers of imperial authority. Why and how did officials and literati represent localities? How did they structure spatial information? Where do we find the“imperial” in the “local” and the“local” in the “imperial”? This workshop proposes a diachronic and place-based approach to examining the processes of producing and organizing geographical knowledge in imperial China. Our aim is to bring to light the structural and epistemological tensions between the standardization and localization of geographical knowledge beyond the temporal bounds of each dynasty and expand the view to the wide array of source materials that describe“things” according to their spatial configurations, such as local gazetteers, poetry, empire-wide geographical compilations, geographical treatises from standard histories, and any form of visual representations. These sources draw the boundaries of localities in divergent ways, and this workshop will probe the manner in which the boundaries were drawn, negotiated, and redefined in geographical representations.