This book explores new directions in the study of China’s borderlands. In addition to assessing the influential perspectives of other historians, it engages innovative approaches in the author’s own research. These studies probe regional accommodations, the intersections of borderland management, martial fortification, and imperial culture, as well as the role of governmental discourse in defining and preserving restive boundary regions. As the issue of China’s management of its borderlands grows more pressing, the work presents key information and insights into how that nation’s contested fringes have been governed in the past.
Table of Contents
PART I Historiographical perspectives
1. Perspectives in North American Research on Qing China’s frontiers
PART II Conceptual perspectives
2. Were the Miao Kings "Prophets of Renewal"? The case of the 1795–1797 Hunan Miao revolt
3. The middle ground, "middle ground moments," and accommodation in the study of later Qing borderland history
PART III New military history
4. Geomancy and walled fortifications on a late eighteenth-century Qing borderland
5. Fortified walls and social ordering in Qing China’s early Jiaqing borderland revolts
PART IV Political discourse analysis
6. Treachery at imperial edges: criminality and bureaucratic classification as jian in middle Qing China
7. Marking "men of iniquity": imperial purpose and imagined boundaries in the Qing processing of rebel ringleaders, 1786–1828
Appendix 1. Translation: Yan Ruyi’s "Conditions and customs in the mountains"
Daniel McMahon is a professor in the Department of History at Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan