Session Abstract: In early modernity (Song to Qing dynasty), south China seas and the Malay Archipelago not only facilitated global trade flow, but also brought forth the publications of early modern maritime maps and Chinese literatures on maritime adventures. This panel focuses on the economic and cultural interaction between China and Southeast Asia through discussing the contacts, conflicts, and influences among Chinese and other cultural and racial groups on the seas. Covering Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties, this panel shows the great transformation of Chinese-Southeast Asia interactions over eight hundred years.
Derek Thiam Soon Heng explores the changing perspectives of Island Southeast Asian ports and societies in the eyes of the Chinese diaspora who visited the region in the Song and Yuan dynasties. Yuanfei Wang focuses on the tropes of conquest and religious conversion in John Fletcher’s Island Princess and the Chinese novel Enuch Sanbao to compare early modern concepts of race and the dynamics between the conquerors and the native people in the sixteenth century. Boyi Chen examines the junk trade between China and Southeast Asia as inter-regional interaction to reflect on the key issues and debates on the tributary system, the Canton system, and the Treaty Port system in the first half of the eighteenth century. Robert Batchelor studies how mapping was related to ethnogenesis, printing and conceptions of space among the maritime Hokkien and Cantonese in the eighteenth century.
Paper Presenter: Yuanfei Wang – University of Southern California
Paper Presenter: Robert Batchelor – Georgia Southern University
Paper Presenter: Derek Heng – Northern Arizona University
Paper Presenter: Boyi Chen – Xiamen University