Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives


IS Lecture - Dr. Laura Hostetler

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Chinese Cartographic Practices and Frontier Politics- Thursday, November 10, 4:00-5:30 pm, Olin 110

On the subject of her talk, Dr. Hostetler writes: “During the early modern period the expanding Qing empire sponsored a wide variety of mapping projects. Some continued in the style of indigenous cartography, others adopted an emerging early modern scientific mapping idiom. Because “traditional” maps constituted the largest segment of the mapping industry into the late nineteenth century, some have argued that “European,” or early modern, mapping techniques did not catch on in China. Through a discussion of a series of three maps made under the Qing dynasty I demonstrate the emergence of a new perspective in the visualization of Qing empire and in its relationship to surrounding lands that yields evidence of continuing early modern scientific and technical expertise at the Qing court, attesting to the fact that Qing China was—at least for a time—integrally connected to the international scientific community. The fact that two traditions existed simultaneously reflects the use of different maps for different purposes and different constituencies, rather than a “failure” to grasp the basics of coordinate mapping.”

Sponsored by the International Studies Program and the Department of History. Additional support provided by the Global Citizens Fund