From Tin to Pewter: Craft and Statecraft in China, 1700-1844

From Tin to Pewter: Craft and Statecraft in China, 1700-1844
Yijun Wang

Summary

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.

Author

Yijun Wang

Defended in

2019

PhD defended at

Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures

Specialisation

Humanities

Region

Global Asia (Asia and other parts of the World)
Maritime Asia
East Asia
China
Indonesia

Theme

History