From Tin to Pewter: Craft and Statecraft in China, 1700-1844
This dissertation examines the transmissions of technology and changes in the culture of statecraft by tracing the itinerary of tin from ore in mines to everyday objects. From the eighteenth century, with the expansion of the Qing empire and global trade, miners migrated from the east coast of China to the southwest frontiers of the Qing empire (1644-1912) and into Southeast Asia, bringing their mining technology with them. The tin from Southeast Asia, in return, inspired Chinese pewter artisans to invent new styles and techniques of metalworking. Furthermore, the knowledge of mining, metalworking, and trade was transferred from miners, artisans, and merchants into the knowledge system of scholar-officials, gradually changing the culture of statecraft in the Qing dynasty. This dissertation explores how imperial expansion and the intensive material exchange brought by global trade affected knowledge production and transmission, gradually changing the culture of statecraft in China.
PhD defended at
Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
Global Asia (Asia and other parts of the World)