Archives de catégorie : Asia

Mapping practices@DH2018

On Wednesday June 27th, we – Ian Caine and Jerry Gonzalez (University of Texas), Sora Kim (Seoul National University), Christian Henriot (Aix-Marseille University, Irasia) and I – participated in the DH2018 Conference in Mexico City, June 25-29. Our multipaper panel entitled  “Bridging Cultures Through Mapping Practices: Space and Power in Asia and America” brought together four papers that span from modern Asia to contemporary Texas: two studies of land ownership, based on historical cadasters in modern Shanghai and imperial Korea, a spatial analysis of advertising development in modern Shanghai, and a survey of municipal annexation as a mechanism for suburban expansion in San Antonio, Texas. In this panel, we argued that spatial concepts and practices can serve as a bridge to connect distant  topics, spaces and times.

While grounded in separate contexts, all papers addressed issues of space and power. More precisely, they revealed the intricate relationships between space, power and mapping practices. Two papers pointed out the significance of historical cadasters as a record of land property and a basis of land management, while the two others focused on municipal regulations toward suburban expansion in San Antonio, or advertising development in modern Shanghai. Everywhere, spatial policies and mapping practices appear crucial to assert municipal or imperial control. This panel further suggested that mapping practices can play as a bridge between distant cultures and territories, either by transplanting Japanese and European cadastral techniques in Korea and Shanghai, or through the municipal attempts to avoid fragmentation in San Antonio. Yet spatial policies also create new boundaries among local communities: Chinese/foreign residents in Shanghai, Korean/Japanese in imperial Korea, Latinos/Anglos and working-class/elites in San Antonio. While the study of land cadasters in Korea focused on the political impulses underlying spatial policies, the surveys of land ownership and advertising development in modern Shanghai, or that of suburban expansion in San Antonio, also emphasized the importance of economic factors in shaping urban spaces (real estate market, transportation networks), either reinforcing or conflicting with municipal policies.

At the methodological level, the panel demonstrated the values and challenges of using digital tools to conduct spatial analyses and to bridge past and present landscapes. Each project relied on a wide range of mapping software and practices, from the systematic digitization of original maps (Shanghai and Korean cadastral maps), to the uses of Geographical Information System (GIS) to build a geospatial database and bring together separate sets of data. GIS and spatial modeling even allow to reconstruct spatial layers that provide substitutes for missing data, as in the cases of Shanghai and Korean cadasters. Digital tools further enable the visualization of gaps and overlapping patterns, or tracing spatial changes across time. In the case of San Antonio, going a step further would lead to imagine a digital chronology of its suburban expansion, including flat mapping, a filmed spatial narrative, and an interactive timeline. Two projects eventually provide a digital interface open to sharing and cooperation (San Antonio, MADSpace). Although they do not provide ready-made arguments, digital and non-digital mapping tools open untrodden paths to interpret the past, and raise new research questions. Through their digital experience, the four projects bridge various disciplines and fields of expertise. They all rely on interdisciplinary collaboration between historians, geographers, economists and sociologists, as well as sustained cooperation between researchers, engineers, designers and software developers.

The PowerPoint of my paper aimed to map the spaces of advertising in modern Shanghai  is available here.

Cécile Armand

Ancienne élève de l'Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) de Lyon (2006), agrégée d'histoire (2009), docteure en histoire (2017), postdoctorante à Stanford University (2017-8) puis Aix-Marseille Université dans le cadre du projet ERC “Elites, Networks and Power in modern China” (2018-). Ma thèse soutenue à l’ENS Lyon en juin 2017 proposait une histoire spatiale de la publicité à Shanghai (1905-1949). Mon nouveau projet porte sur l’invention du consommateur et de l’expertise sur le marché en Chine républicaine. Au-delà, mes centres d'intérêt couvrent l'histoire urbaine, spatiale et sociale, les outils et méthodes numériques en sciences sociales, l'historiographie et l'épistémologie en général.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookPinterest

LKSF Workshop@UC Berkeley: Introducing the first Chinese « madman »

Last May 5 (2018), I was invited to participate in the Li Ka Shing Foundation Workshop at UC Berkeley, California. The workshop was organized by Brooks Jessup and gathered close to twenty graduate students from UC Berkeley and Postdoctoral scholars from various universities in California (UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Stanford).

The program covered a wide range of topics, from the publishing strategies of the Shanghai Medical Association to the transnational background of Khmer leaders, including a comparative study of an Vietnamese remake of P. Boule’s Planet of the Apes or the environmental history of fengshui in Sichuan’s rural communities. On the whole, I was impressed by the high quality of presentations and in-between discussions. The closing discussion highlighted the emphasis placed on networks and global circulations by this new generation of scholars, and the general trend toward a more social and material approach to East Asian studies, probably in reaction to cultural and linguistic approaches that still prevail among the previous generation.

My own paper traced the birth of professional advertising in modern China through the case study of the first leading Chinese agency (China Commercial Advertising Agency) and its founder C.P. Ling. The draft and Powerpoint of my paper are available here.

Cécile Armand

Ancienne élève de l'Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) de Lyon (2006), agrégée d'histoire (2009), docteure en histoire (2017), postdoctorante à Stanford University (2017-8) puis Aix-Marseille Université dans le cadre du projet ERC “Elites, Networks and Power in modern China” (2018-). Ma thèse soutenue à l’ENS Lyon en juin 2017 proposait une histoire spatiale de la publicité à Shanghai (1905-1949). Mon nouveau projet porte sur l’invention du consommateur et de l’expertise sur le marché en Chine républicaine. Au-delà, mes centres d'intérêt couvrent l'histoire urbaine, spatiale et sociale, les outils et méthodes numériques en sciences sociales, l'historiographie et l'épistémologie en général.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookPinterest

MADSpace@DHAsia Summit

On April 27-28th 2018, I had the opportunity to participate in the DHAsia Summit at the Stanford Humanities Center, a major academic event in the United States during the Spring quarter. Sponsored by the Mellon Foundation, it was organized by Thomas Mullaney with the support of the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA). The summit gathered about fifty world leading Asia scholars committed to digital practice.

I will make no attempt to summarize or provide an exhaustive list of the various projects presented. I will rather observe that such variety itself testifies of the diversity of practices that fall under the umbrella term “digital humanities” and reveals the unbounded nature of the digital field. I also noticed the effort to establish international standards and common sets of practices around selected tools (III-F), and a general trend toward more integrated projects (global gazetteers).

The closing discussion pointed to the permanence of nation-based research, the unequal representation of countries (notably the preeminence of China and Japan), but also suggested the emergence of a community of Asia scholars around digital practices. Concluding remarks discussed the afterlives of such spectacular but short-term events, raising the issues of how to perpetuate the ephemeral community spirit generated by the physical gathering of individuals, and questions the need / relevance of institutionalizing such initiatives.

My own paper aimed to present MADSpace, the research platform that I developed as a digital companion to my PhD project devoted to a spatial history of advertising in modern Shanghai. An abstract and the Powerpoint of my presentation are available here.

Cécile Armand

Ancienne élève de l'Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) de Lyon (2006), agrégée d'histoire (2009), docteure en histoire (2017), postdoctorante à Stanford University (2017-8) puis Aix-Marseille Université dans le cadre du projet ERC “Elites, Networks and Power in modern China” (2018-). Ma thèse soutenue à l’ENS Lyon en juin 2017 proposait une histoire spatiale de la publicité à Shanghai (1905-1949). Mon nouveau projet porte sur l’invention du consommateur et de l’expertise sur le marché en Chine républicaine. Au-delà, mes centres d'intérêt couvrent l'histoire urbaine, spatiale et sociale, les outils et méthodes numériques en sciences sociales, l'historiographie et l'épistémologie en général.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookPinterest