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Imagining 'Asia': Foreign and Native Worldviews in Constructions of Early Modern Japanese Cartography

Date and Time: 
Monday, November 27, 2017. 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Meeting Location: 
David Rumsey Map Center
ARCS: Asian Representations and Constructions of Space
Meeting Description: 

Professors Wigen and Moerman will each workshop forthcoming publications on early modern Japanese cartography, with Professor Wigen focusing on nineteenth-century geographical maps and Professor Moerman specializing in cosmologically oriented images from a century earlier. Their research dovetails at the intersection of foreign and native conceptions of global, continental, and local space, leading to Japanese cartographic representations of the non-native category, "Asia."

Kären Wigen teaches Japanese history and the history of cartography at Stanford University.  A geographer by training, she earned her doctorate at the University of California at Berkeley. Her first book, The Making of a Japanese Periphery, 1750-1920 (1995), mapped the economic transformation of southern Nagano Prefecture during the heyday of the silk industry. Her second book, A Malleable Map: Geographies of Restoration in Central Japan, 1600-1912 (2010), returned to the ground of that study, exploring the roles of cartography, chorography, and regionalism in the making of modern Shinano.  An abiding interest in world history led her to co-author The Myth of Continents (1997) with Martin Lewis. She also introduced a forum on oceans in history for the American Historical Review and co-edited Seascapes: Maritime Histories, Littoral Cultures, and Transoceanic Exchanges (2007) with Jerry Bentley and Renate Bridenthal. Her latest project is another collaboration, Cartographic 
Japan: A History in Maps
, with co-editors Sugimoto Fumiko and Cary Karacas (2016).

D. Max Moerman is Professor in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures. He is Co-Chair of the Columbia University Seminar in Buddhist Studies and an Associate Director of the Columbia Center for Buddhism and Asian Religions. He holds an A.B. from Columbia College and a Ph.D. from Stanford University. His research interests are in the visual and material culture of Japanese religions.

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