New Currents in Maritime History: Multi-language Sources and Perspectives for East Asian Waters in Imperial and Global Contexts

Conference: AAS-in-Asia2020 (AAS-in-Asia2020)
Title: New Currents in Maritime History: Multi-language Sources and Perspectives for East Asian Waters in Imperial and Global Contexts
Stream: History
Presentation Type: Panel Presentation
Authors:
Cheng-heng Lu, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University, United States (organizer, presenter)
Tim Romans, Emory University, United States (presenter)
Ubaldo Iaccarino, The Institution of Taiwan History, Academia Sinica, Taiwan (presenter)
Yu-Hui Shen, National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan (presenter)
Gakusho Nakajima, Kyushu University, Japan (chair)
Mark Ravina, The University of Texas at Austin, United States (discussant)

Abstract:

In the past half-century, maritime historians such as Iwao Seiichi, Nagazumi Yoko, Leonard Blussé, C.R. Boxer positioned the East Asia maritime world as a global crossroads. Although these scholars were pioneers in using multi-language sources, recent developments in the fields of global and comparative imperial history have opened new pathways for scholars. This "new" maritime history combines East Asian, European, and Central Asian sources as well as materials from underrepresented groups from across Asia.

Cheng-heng Lu utilizes Manchu, Chinese, and Hokkienese materials to investigate the war between the Qing Empire and pirate-king Cai Cian to reveal how this Inner Asian Empire conquered the East Asian maritime world. Tim Romans utilizes Dutch, Chinese, and Japanese sources to tell the story of the Suetsugu family of Nagasaki, a merchant household who sought to build a maritime domain in the turmoil of the seventeenth century. Ubaldo Iaccarino shows how the Spanish perception of maritime space revolved around the Philippines through the lens of the Sino-Japanese community of traders, smugglers, and former pirates of the late sixteenth century Manila. Shen investigates the intermediary role of Ryukyu between the Qing Empire and Japan by using Japanese and Chinese sources to explore the development of cultural networks between these three East Asian states.

This panel combines recent developments in global and comparative imperial history with innovative source combinations to explore new connections between Asia and the wider world.