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.
Asia Inside Out: Connected Places makes you think about borders, networks, flows, identities, and historical epochs. The volume’s essays range across Asia, across centuries, across types of polity, scales of organization, and modes of expression—and find striking resonance where few would expect to find them. Both scholars interested in revitalizing area studies and those who reject such approaches will be productively challenged by this book.
This compelling volume provides a vivid and theoretically accomplished portrait of Asian connections, fusions, and landscapes of mobility in historic and recent times. The contributions marshal strong case studies that discuss religion, language, art, commerce, human–animal relations, domesticity, and the political exigencies and outcomes of modern empires to reveal the making of places in Asian space across land and sea. Part of an impressive set of books on inter-Asian connections, it invites immediate and sustained attention from scholars and students across disciplines; it is highly readable and beautifully illustrated.
These provocative essays point the way toward reimagining world history from the inside out. Training their sights on interstitial people and places, the contributors collectively shed light on locality formation at a dozen sites across Asia. Carefully chosen maps and photographs reinforce the case-study approach by anchoring theory firmly to place, illuminating flashpoints where livelihood, meaning, and power collide. A stellar collection that deserves a wide readership.
This volume asks readers to rethink not only how they reconsider the spatial definition of Asia but also space and place as concepts…Students of Asia will discover much that is pleasantly counterintuitive, such as the boom in Korean popular culture that has many Vietnamese brides wanting to wear traditional Korean dress for their wedding photos. A wonderfully interdisciplinary resource.
- 432 pages
- 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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