Asia Inside Out reveals the dynamic forces that have historically linked regions of the world’s largest continent, stretching from Japan and Korea to the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Middle East. Connected Places, the second installment in this pioneering three-volume survey, highlights the transregional flows of goods, ideas, and people across natural and political boundaries—sea routes, delta ecologies, and mountain passes, ports and oasis towns, imperial capitals and postmodern cities. It challenges the conventional idea that defines geopolitical regions as land-based, state-centered, and possessing linear histories.
Exploring themes of maritime connections, mobile landscapes, and spatial movements, the authors examine significant sites of linkage and disjuncture from the early modern period to the present. Readers discover how eighteenth-century pirates shaped the interregional networks of Vietnam’s Tonkin Gulf, how Kashmiri merchants provided intelligence of remote Himalayan territories to competing empires, and how for centuries a vibrant trade in horses and elephants fueled the Indian Ocean economy. Other topics investigated include cultural formations in the Pearl River delta, global trade in Chittagong’s transformation, gendered homemaking among mobile Samurai families, border zones in Qing China and contemporary Burma, colonial spaces linking India and Mesopotamia, transnational marriages in Oman’s immigrant populations, new cultural spaces in Korean pop, and the unexpected adoption of the Latin script by ethnically Chinese Muslims in Central Asia.
Connected Places shows the constant fluctuations over many centuries in the making of Asian territories and illustrates the confluence of factors in the historical construction of place and space.