Project (2019)

Roads and Localities: A Perspective from Local Gazetteers on Road Construction in 18th Century China

Based on the digital tools of LoGaRT, this project studies the commemorative essays about road construction in the local gazetteers. Drawing upon the scholarship of material culture and textual production, this project first examines local initiatives and endeavors to build new or repair deteriorated roads in eighteenth-century China and the actual process of carrying out those initiatives such as raising money, collecting materials, and the construction. Second, this project explores the relationship between the textual commemoration of road construction and the local gazetteers across time and space. Exploring in this direction raises questions about epistemological practice at the time: why were such essays included in the gazetteers more frequently during certain periods?