Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Sustainable Qing Periphery

Harvard University, CGIS Building, Room S250
Address: 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: (617) 495-4046

The multicultural Qing is reconsidered in “multi-ecological” terms of three borderland case studies from northeastern Manchuria, south-central Inner Mongolia, and southwestern Yunnan. Human pursuit of game, tending of livestock, and susceptibility to disease vectors required imperial adaptation beyond the cultural constructs of banners or chieftainships in order to maintain a “sustainable Qing periphery” based on these environmental relations between people and animals. The resulting borderland spaces are, therefore, not simply contrivances of more anthropocentric administrative fiat, but environmental interdependencies constructed through more “organic” and conditional relations of imperial foraging, imperial pastoralism, and imperial indigenism.

David A. Bello’s main research interest is environmental and borderland history, involving relations between natural systems, ethnic identity, and space in Qing China (1644-1912). His first book Opium and the Limits of Empire: Drug Prohibition in the Chinese Interior, 1729-1850, was published in 2005 by the Harvard Council on East Asian Studies. His new book, Across Forest, Steppe and Mountain: Environment, Identity and Empire in Qing China’s Borderlands, is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. His work also appears in The Journal of Asian Studies, Modern China, and Late Imperial China and is forthcoming in Environmental History. Bello received his PhD from the University of Southern California and is currently associate professor of East Asian history at Washington and Lee University.

For more information on David Bello, click here

Contact: The Fairbank Center for Chinese Studie
Phone: (617) 495-4046

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