Browse results

Most medieval historians have explained the ‘civil wars’ in Scandinavia in the 12th and 13th centuries as internal conflicts within a predominantly national and implicitly state-centered politico-constitutional framework. This book argues that the conflicts during this period should be viewed as less disruptive, less internal and less state-centered than in previous research. It does so through six articles comparing the civil wars in Scandinavia with civil wars in Afghanistan and Guinea-Bissau in the last decades, applying theories and perspectives from anthropology and political science. Finally, four articles discuss civil wars in a broader perspective.

Contributors are Ebrahim Afsah, Gerd Althoff, Jenny Benham, John Comaroff, Hans Jacob Orning, Frederik Rosén, Jón Viðar Sigurðsson, Henrik Vigh, Helle Vogt, Stephen D. White, and Øyvind Østerud.
A Study of 11th to 13th Century Tangut Records
Author: Jinbo Shi
Editor / Translator: Hansong Li
An Environmental History of Japan’s Rivers, 1600–1930
In Turbulent Streams: An Environmental History of Japan’s Rivers, 1600–1930, Roderick I. Wilson describes how the rivers of Japan are both hydrologically and historically dynamic. Today, these waterways are slowed, channeled, diverted, and dammed by a myriad of levees, multiton concrete tetrapods, and massive multipurpose dams. In part, this intensive engineering arises from the waterways falling great elevations over short distances, flowing over unstable rock and soil, and receiving large quantities of precipitation during monsoons and typhoons. But this modern river regime is also the product of a history that narrowed both these waterways and people’s diverse interactions with them in the name of flood control. Neither a story of technological progress nor environmental decline, this history introduces the concept of environmental relations as a category of historical analysis both to explore these fluvial interactions and reveal underappreciated dimensions of Japanese history.
The Huihui Yaofang was an encyclopedia of Near Eastern medicine compiled under the Mongol Yuan Dynasty for the benefit of themselves and the then Chinese medical establishments. Some 15% of the work survives, from a Ming Dynasty edition, and is here translated for the first time into English. We extensively introduce the translation with introductions situating it within the history of western and Chinese medicine, and provide critical apparatus for understanding. We provide accounts of the medicines and foods, with comparisons to other works of the time and to modern folk uses of these medicines in the Middle East. We show that the work is solidly western Asian, specifically derived from Persian-speaking Central Asia, and is adapted to Chinese use in several ways but without losing its western character.
Author: Litian Swen
Jesuit Mission and Submission explains how the Jesuits entered the Manchu world after the Manchus conquered Beijing in 1644. Supported by Qing court archives, the book discovers the Jesuits’ Manchu-style master-slave relationship with the Kangxi emperor. Against the backdrop of this relationship, the book reconstructs the back and forth negotiations between Kangxi and the Holy See regarding Chinese Rites Controversy (1705-1721), and shows that the Jesuits, although a group of foreign priests, had close access to Kangxi and were a trusted part of the Imperial circle. This book also redefines the rise and fall of the Christian mission in the early Qing court through key events, such as the Calendar Case and Yongzheng’s prohibition of Christianity.
Crossing Cultural Boundaries in East Asia and Beyond explores the personal complexities and ambiguities, and the successes and failures, of crossing borders and boundaries. While the focus is on East Asia, it universalizes cultural anxieties with comparative cases in Russia and the United States. The authors primarily engage the individual experiences of border-crossing, rather than more typically those of political or social groups located at territorial boundaries. Drawing on those individual experiences, this volume presents an array of attempts to negotiate the discomforts of crossing personal borders, and attends to the intimate experiences of border crossers, whether they are traveling to an unfamiliar cultural location or encountering the “other” in local settings such as the classroom or the coffee shop.
In: Crossing Cultural Boundaries in East Asia and Beyond
Author: Daniel Milne

Abstract

Tourism is a nexus for movement across, and the blurring of, national, cultural, linguistic and imaginative boundaries. Diverse actors attempt to utilize tourism to reinforce, shape, and sometimes challenge popular concepts of these boundaries. This chapter examines three early Anglophone guidebooks about Kyoto to explore how guidebook authors of differing national backgrounds seek to mediate corporal and imaginative encounters between tourists and locals. Through analyzing and comparing guidebooks written by authors from the West and Japan, including pre-modern texts, this chapter challenges assumptions in previous research that tourist discourses of non-Western “others” are simple impositions of Western Orientalism. Further, it demonstrates that representations are not only a product of a writer’s national and cultural background, but are also influenced by the commissioning organization, anticipated audience, and local and international discourses. The study thus highlights the complexities of representation in texts that mediate the imaginative boundaries of international tourism.

In: Crossing Cultural Boundaries in East Asia and Beyond
In: Crossing Cultural Boundaries in East Asia and Beyond