Friday, October 27th: Scott Relyea “‘A Fence on Which We Can Rely’: Asserting Sovereignty in Early Twentieth Century Southwest China”

Scott Relyea

Assistant Professor, Appalachian State University

‘A Fence on Which We Can Rely’: Asserting Sovereignty in Early Twentieth Century Southwest China

Friday, October 27th, 4:00-6:00 PM

John Hope Franklin Room [SSR 224]

Discussant: Tian Yuan, PhD Student, University of Chicago History Department

Please Join the East Asia: Transregional Histories Workshop in welcoming Scott Relyea [Appalachian State University] as he presents one of his current works-in-progress. Titled “Indigenzing International Law in Early Twentieth Century China: Sovereignty in the Sino-Tibetan Borderland,” Professor Relyea provides the following abstract:

This paper analyses the introduction of international law into China during the Qing Dynasty’s last decades and the first few years of the Republic of China. It explores the influence of two international law texts, the translation Wanguo gongfa (The Public Law of All States), published in Beijing in 1864, and perhaps the first indigenously written international law text in China, Gongfa daoyuan (The Origins of International Law), published in Chengdu around 1899. Building on scholarship exploring the global circulation of knowledge, which focuses largely on political and intellectual centres, this research offers an alternative perspective from the borderlands of Asia, from the interstices of global power where states and empires met and were transformed by the norms and principles of international law, especially territoriality and sovereignty. I argue that local Qing officials overseeing the Kham borderland of eastern Tibet during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries adopted the conceptual basis of international law, whereas central Qing government officials were slow to do so. It was in such contentious borderlands that theoretical claims to sovereignty under international law intersected with the actual exercise of authority, where Sichuan Province officials, influenced by these two texts, adapted the norm of territorial sovereignty to both exert and assert absolute Qing authority in Kham as a stepping stone toward the whole of Tibet. During these tumultuous years in China’s transition from imperial to state form, the actions and successes of these borderland officials in Kham fostered a more thorough adoption and application of international law principles by central government officials, especially during the first years of the Republic of China. This manifest in Republican Chinese negotiators referring to these actions in Kham as substantiation for appeal to the international law principle of ‘effective occupation’ at the Simla Conference (1913-14).

Professor Relyea’s paper can be found at the post below

As always, first-time attendees are welcome. Light refreshments and snacks will be served. This event is Co-Sponsored with the East Asia Workshop.

If you have any questions or require assistance to attend, please contact Spencer Stewart at sdstewart@uchicago.edu or Robert Burgos at rburgos@uchicago.edu

Thursday, October 19th : Kyle Gardner “Communication: Roads, Regulation and British Joint Commissioners”

Kyle Gardner

PhD Candidate, University of Chicago

“Communication: Roads, Regulation and British Joint Commissioners” Along the Hindustan-Tibet Road and Leh-Yarkand Treaty Road

Thursday, October 19th 3:00-5:00 PM

John Hope Franklin Room [SSR 224]

Discussant: Usama Rafi, University of Chicago History Department

Please join the East Asia: Transregional Histories Workshop as we welcome our own Kyle Gardner, who will be presenting a draft chapter titled “Communication: Roads, Regulation and British Joint Commissioners” from his dissertation. This chapter explores the particular histories of the Hindustan-Tibet Road and Leh-Yarkand Treaty Road from the mid 19th century onward, considering their development as regulatory mechanisms of empire as well as their status as means of both conveyance and restriction along the frontier.

Kyle’s Paper can be found in the post below.

As always, first-time attendees are welcome. Light refreshments and snacks will be served. If you have any questions or require assistance to attend, please contact Robert Burgos at rburgos@uchicago.edu or Spencer Stewart at sdstewart@uchicago.edu.

 

Thursday, March 30th 4:30-6:30 PM : Covell Meyskens – The Demilitarization of Chinese Socialism

Covell Meyskens

Assistant Professor, Naval Postgraduate School

“The Demilitarization of Chinese Socialism”

Thursday, March 30th, 4:30-6:30 PM

Social Sciences Tea Room (SSR, 2nd Floor)

Discussant: Weichu Wang (University of Chicago)

Please join the East Asia: Transregional Histories Workshop as we welcome University of Chicago alumni Covell Meyskens (Naval Postgraduate School), who will present the first chapter of his new book project for workshop discussion. The chapter, titled “The Demilitarization of Chinese Socialism,” examines the CCP leadership’s approach to the security of socialist China between the late 1940s when they founded the PRC and the late 1970s when a new leadership under Deng Xiaoping rose to power after Mao’s death in 1976.

As always, first-time attendees are welcome. Light refreshments and snacks will be served.

If you have any questions or require assistance to attend, please contact Jessa Dahl at jdahl@uchicago.edu or Erin Newton at emnewton@uchicago.edu.

WED 11/30 5 PM : Kyle Gardner

Kyle Gardner

University of Chicago

“The Space Between: Trade, Cosmology, and Modes of Seeing in Independent Ladakh”

WED, Nov. 30th 5:00-7:00 PM

John Hope Franklin Room, SSR 224

Discussants:

Matthew Lowenstein, University of Chicago History Department

Please join us for Kyle Gardner’s presentation of a chapter from his dissertation on Wednesday, November 30th at 4 PM in the John Hope Franklin Room (SSR 224). In addition to providing historical background of the making and demise of Ladakh (a region in the northwest Himalayan mountain range), “The Space Between: Trade, Cosmology and Modes of Seeing in Independent Ladakh” explores how four indigenous modes of viewing space–cosmological, political, linguistic, and material–created multiple modes of seeing that space.

Kyle’s paper can be accessed through at the East Asia: Transregional Histories workshop website. The password is “cosmology”

As always, first-time attendees are welcome. Light refreshments and snacks will be served.

If you have any questions or require assistance to attend, please contact Jessa Dahl at jdahl@uchicago.edu or Erin Newton at emnewton@uchicago.edu.

Thursday Nov 17 at 4PM : Liping Wang

Liping Wang

Assistant Professor, University of Hong Kong

“Legal Pluralism or Jurisdictional Nexuses: The Transformation of Jurisdictional Boundaries in China-Inner Mongolia, 1900-1930”

Thursday, November 17 4:00-6:00 PM

John Hope Franklin Room, (SSR 224)

Discussant:

Yuan Tian (PhD Student, Department of History)

The East Asia: Transregional Histories workshop is delighted to host Professor Liping Wang of the University of Hong Kong next Thursday, November 17. Please see the below abstract for the work.

“This presentation comes from one chapter in my book under work. In this chapter, historical examples from eastern Inner Mongolia will illustrate the hazy jurisdictional boundaries between Mongol banners and Han Chinese migrant communities, a structure that formed under the Qing Empire. Multiple frontier agents, including banner nobles, civilian county magistrates, frontier governors, and local representatives of Lifan yuan, all participated in judicial processes that sometimes involved Mongols and sometimes mixed ethnic groups. Frontier legal jurisdiction was therefore not a whole cloth. Frontier agents, who represented the state or the local Mongolian interests to varying degrees, diversified the expression of legal authority. This structure evokes the question: can we conceptualize the multiple legal orders operating/cooperating in the Qing Empire as a case of legal pluralism? Legal pluralism is a term introduced in colonial studies and reformulated to stress the multiplicity of legal practices in empires as opposed to the legal uniformity characterizing nation-states. Moreover, these rather diversified legal jurisdictions in the frontier were being shattered in the early twentieth century. System decay started with the transformation of Lifan yuan, which destabilized the balance between different agents, and triggered their competitions to augment their respective jurisdictional scopes. Based upon a variety of sources (including the official memorials, local gazetteers, the archives of the Department of Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs, and sources collected from the Archives of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region), this chapter pinpoints the most important changes that transformed the frontier jurisdictional divisions, which directly propelled the formation of confrontational ethnic relationship in China-Inner Mongolia in the early 20th century.”

As always, first-time attendees are welcome. Light refreshments and snacks will be served.

If you have any questions or require assistance to attend, please contact Jessa Dahl at jdahl@uchicago.edu or Erin Newton at emnewton@uchicago.edu.