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Mapping Imperial China: A Cultural Exchange
May 23 – September 30, 2013
Map Gallery Hall, Pusey Library

Conventional narratives of East-West interaction in the cartographic sphere tend to portray the cultural exchange as a lopsided, tutelary relationship in which the more “primitive” society inevitably pays fealty to more scientifically sophisticated and objective standards of mapmaking. The simplistic assumptions embedded in this model often misrepresent the dynamic negotiation that occurs in the definition of geographical space. This exhibit examines the complex web of influences and cross-influences that resulted in the frequent metamorphoses of “China” over the centuries. With a focus on the last two dynastic periods—the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912)—the maps displayed here will illustrate the genealogical associations of concepts, images, and stories that have shaped our views of one another.

For further information, contact Joseph Garver at 617-496-3670

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