Thursday, April 19th: Yuan Julian Chen “The Ecological Footprint of China’s Medieval Capital Kaifeng, 900-1200”

Yuan Julian Chen

PhD Candidate in History, Yale University

“The Ecological Footprint of China’s Medieval Capital Kaifeng, 900-1200”

Thursday April 19th, 4:00-6:00 PM

John Hope Franklin Room [SSR 224]

Discussant: Dan Knorr, PhD Candidate, Department of History, University of Chicago

Please join the East Asia: Transregional Histories workshop in welcoming Yuan Julian Chen as she presents a draft of her dissertation chapter, titled “The Ecological Footprint of China’s Medieval Capital Kaifeng, 900-1200.” She has provided the following abstract:

From the 10th to the 12th centuries, the building of the new Song Dynasty capital at Kaifeng brought about profound ecological consequences in the Chinese Empire and beyond. With demographic, technological and economic growth, in addition to the shifting geopolitical landscape in East Asia, Kaifeng’s rapidly growing consumption and heightened security needs shaped ecologies in strategic borderlands and foreign territories alike, creating a vast “ecological empire” that radiated outwards from Kaifeng. I argue that three geo-factors –– geography, geoeconomics, and geopolitics –– played foundational roles in shaping the bounds of the ecological empire of Kaifeng, both within and outside of the Song empire proper.

 

This research will study the Kaifeng-centered ecological empire through the interplay of these factors. I will use six examples to illustrate the ecological consequences of the rise and fall of medieval Kaifeng: the Song emperors’ quest for legitimacy and lavish imperial garden building in Kaifeng; Kaifeng’s timber consumption and deforestation in old-growth forests in South China; Kaifeng’s seafood consumption and the booming of fisheries in the East China Sea; Kaifeng’s lamb consumption and desertification in the territories of the Xi Xia and Liao; the building of cavalry forces in the capital and the over-cultivation of tea in Sichuan; and Kaifeng’s need for security and the creation of a massive defensive forest along the Song-Liao border. This research will show that the Song period, from the view of Kaifeng, was not only a time of profound socio-political changes but also was an ecologically transformative era.

 

Yuan’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, February 15th: Dan Knorr, “A City of Springs: Local Geography and Imperial Presence in High Qing Jinan”

Dan Knorr

PhD Candidate, Department of History

    “A City of Springs: Local Geography and Imperial Presence in High Qing Jinan”

Thursday, February 15th, 4-6pm,

Social Sciences Tea Room [SSRB 201]

Discussant: Alex Jania [PhD Student, Department of History]

Please join the East Asia: Transregional Histories workshop in welcoming Dan Knorr as he presents a draft of the first dissertation chapter, titled “A City of Springs: Local Geography and Imperial Presence in High Qing Jinan.” He has provided the following abstract:

Since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) Jinan has been the capital of Shandong Province in eastern China. Despite its political preeminence in the late imperial period, the city boasted neither of the two most important cultural sites in the province: Mt. Tai, one of the five sacred peaks of China, and Qufu, the ancestral home of Confucius’ descendants. During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), visiting these sites were the primary objectives of the Kangxi (r. 1661-1722) and Qianlong (r. 1735-1796) emperors when they passed through Shandong on their eastern and southern tours. However, along the way, both emperors also visited Jinan and expressed their appreciation for the city’s scenery, including its three most famous sites: Baotu Spring, Thousand Buddha/Li Mountain, and Daming Lake. Their patronization of these sites was part of a larger imperial project of solidifying the patrimonial rule of the Manchu Qing Dynasty over the empire through “encompassing” the cultural values of Han elite. The imperial tours and their material legacies, such as steles and scroll paintings, intersected with a corpus of writings about these sites that was preserved and augmented through the successive compilation of local gazetteers (difang zhi). This included Jinan native Ren Hongyuan’s Baotuquan zhi (Records of Baotu Spring), which he compiled in the years between the Kangxi and Qianlong tours.

Focusing on writings about Baotu Spring and its connection to Jinan’s other famous sites, this chapter accomplishes three goals. First, it adds to our understanding of both writing about local sites and scenery and responses to the imperial tours in North China. As the economic and cultural heart of late imperial China, Jiangnan has understandably received considerable attention from scholars like Tobie Meyer-Fong and Michael Chang who have studied the relationship between cultural production and the consolidation of imperial authority under the Qing. This chapter demonstrates that similar processes also played out in northern China, whose beauty some writers even compared favorably to Jiangnan. However, texts about these sites demonstrate that this history was framed in terms of Jinan’s particular position in-between both the capital in Beijing and Jiangnan and the Grand Canal and Mt. Tai.

Second, this chapter demonstrates that local literature was, in fact, a translocal and political production. Compilations of writings about these sites often included and even gave prominence to the voices of writers who were not natives of Jinan. In many cases these writers were officials who worked in Jinan temporarily but left behind literary and architectural impressions on the landscape. Their writings occupied a privileged place in both officially-reviewed gazetteers and the privately-compiled Baotuquan zhi.

Finally, I examine the literary interventions of officials and emperors within the geographic context of Jinan. While the positioning of official yamens in the center of the city, which was itself surrounded by walls, suggests a spatially concentrated projection of imperial power, in fact official patronage and control spilled beyond the city’s walls to Baotu Spring and Thousand Buddha Mountain. Local writers did not, however, treat this as an unwanted imposition on indigenous space. Rather, as suggested above, it was a continuation of a long history of the local landscape – both material and discursive – being produced through the functioning of the state. What was different in the Qing Dynasty was the direct intervention of emperors themselves, which facilitated their personal knowledge of Jinan’s geography and people and the city’s claim to an even greater level of grandeur.

Dan’s Paper can be found at 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 Spencer Stewart at sdstewart@uchicago.edu or Robert Burgos at rburgos@uchicago.edu

Monday, January 8th: Alex Jania “For Us, The Earth Still Shakes: Thoughts on Disaster Memorialization in Japan and Methodologies of Emotional History”

Alex Jania

PhD Student, Department of History, University of Chicago

” For Us, The Earth Still Shakes: Thoughts on Disaster Memorialization in Japan and Methodologies of Emotional History”

Monday, January 8th 12:00-1:15 PM

The Library at the Martin Marty Center [Swift Hall]

Discussant: Paride Stortini, PhD Student, University of Chicago Divinity School

Please join the East Asia: Transregional Histories workshop in welcoming Alex Jania as he presents his work-in-progress, titled “For Us, The Earth Still Shakes: Thoughts on Disaster Memorialization in Japan and Methodologies of Emotional History” Mr. Jania provides the following abstract:

This paper, based on pre-dissertation archival and field research, presents a methodology that attends to the emotional aspects of natural disaster memorialization in modern Japan. In particular, the paper proposes a methodology that utilizes the combination of material culture, oral history, and textual sources in order to compose an emotional history. Using relevant examples from the archives and the field, this study will exhibit this new approach to emotional history and discuss its general relevance for the discipline of history as a whole.

Alex’s paper can be found in the post below.

As always, first-time attendees are welcome. Please make note of the distinct time and place for this event. In addition, a lunch will also be served at this event.

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, April 20 **3-5 PM** : Alex Jania “A Blood Red Sun Rises”: Affective Nationalism in the 1923 Korean Panic and Massacre

Alex Jania

University of Chicago, History Department

“‘A Blood Red Sun Rises’: Affective Nationalism in the 1923 Korean Panic and Massacre”

Thursday, April 20th

**3-5 PM**

John Hope Franklin Room (SSR 224)

Discussants:

Gregory Valdespino, University of Chicago History Dept.

Please join us at a slightly earlier time as the East Asia: Transregional History Workshop welcomes our own Alex Jania, who will present his second-year seminar paper entitled “‘A Blood Red Sun Rises’: Affective Nationalism in the 1923 Korean Panic and Massacre.” This paper explores the affective nationalism of the Korean Panic and Massacre in order to understand the relationship between emotion, violent ethnic scapegoating, and the imagining of the nation. This study uses the recollections of children who lived through the disaster in Tokyo and Yokohama, in addition to a critical passage from the Tokyo novelist Ema Shū’s disaster memoir When the Sheep Rise in Anger to explore how latent Japanese prejudices against Koreans created an affective environment that led to massacre. Using these sources, the study explores the creation and circulation of hate, fear, insecurity in the Korean Panic and later, excitement, security, and ambiguity in the Korean Massacre. Ultimately, he argues that the desire for a feeling of security and its creation through violence was a powerful, but fraught, part of Japanese affective nationalism following the Great Kantō Earthquake.

Alex’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 Jessa Dahl at jdahl@uchicago.edu or Erin Newton at emnewton@uchicago.edu.

11/5 Dr. Roderick Wilson

Shibaura with two shipping channel poles - 1856 copy

Edomae and the Changing Environmental Relations of a Fishing Community in Edo-Tokyo, 1600-1900

Speaker: Dr. Roderick Wilson (Professor of History, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Discussant: Sophia Sherry (PhD Student, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Chicago)

Date/Time: November 5, 4:15 to 6:00pm

Venue: John Hope Franklin Room (Social Science Research Building, 224)

10/8 Laura Hostetler

Narrating Empire: Cartographic, Comparative, and Horticultural Perspectives

Asia, China, 1785

Asia, China, 1785

Speaker: Dr. Laura Hostetler (Professor of History, University of Illinois, Chicago)

Discussant: Dr. Kenneth Pomeranz (Professor of History, University of Chicago)

Date/Time: October 8, 4:00 to 6:00pm

Venue: John Hope Franklin Room (Social Science Research Building, 224)