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Cultures of Porcelain in World History
Illuminating one thousand years of history, The Pilgrim Art explores the remarkable cultural influence of Chinese porcelain around the globe. Cobalt ore was shipped from Persia to China in the fourteenth century, where it was used to decorate porcelain for Muslims in Southeast Asia, India, Persia, and Iraq. Spanish galleons delivered porcelain to Peru and Mexico while aristocrats in Europe ordered tableware from Canton. The book tells the fascinating story of how porcelain became a vehicle for the transmission and assimilation of artistic symbols, themes, and designs across vast distances—from Japan and Java to Egypt and England. It not only illustrates how porcelain influenced local artistic traditions but also shows how it became deeply intertwined with religion, economics, politics, and social identity. Bringing together many strands of history in an engaging narrative studded with fascinating vignettes, this is a history of cross-cultural exchange focused on an exceptional commodity that illuminates the emergence of what is arguably the first genuinely global culture.
Chinese Maritime Policies, 1684-1757
Did China drive or resist the early wave of globalization? Some scholars insist that China contributed nothing to the rise of the global economy that began around 1500. Others have placed China at the center of global integration. Neither side, though, has paid attention to the complex story of China’s maritime policies. Drawing on sources from China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and the West, this important new work systematically explores the evolution of imperial Qing maritime policy from 1684 to 1757 and sets its findings in the context of early globalization.
Gang Zhao argues that rather than constrain private maritime trade, globalization drove it forward, linking the Song and Yuan dynasties to a dynamic world system. As bold Chinese merchants began to dominate East Asian trade, officials and emperors came to see private trade as the solution to the daunting economic and social challenges of the day. The ascent of maritime business convinced the Kangzi emperor to open the coast to international trade, putting an end to the tribute trade system. Zhao’s study details China’s unique contribution to early globalization, the pattern of which differs significantly from the European experience. It offers impressive insights into the rise of the Asian trade network, the emergence of Shanghai as Asia’s commercial hub, and the spread of a regional Chinese diaspora.
To understand the place of China in the early modern world, how modernity came to China, and early globalization and the rise of the Asian trade network, The Qing Opening to the Ocean is essential reading.
Growing Up Under Stalin
Many children growing up in the Soviet Union before World War II knew the meaning of deprivation and dread. But for the son of an “enemy of the people,” those apprehensions were especially compounded.
When the secret police came for his father in 1938, ten-year-old Anatole Konstantin saw his family plunged into a morass of fear. His memoir of growing up in Stalinist Russia re-creates in vivid detail the daily trials of people trapped in this regime before and during the repressive years of World War II—and the equally horrific struggles of refugees after that conflict.
Evicted from their home, their property confiscated, and eventually forced to leave their town, Anatole’s family experienced the fate of millions of Soviet citizens whose loved ones fell victim to Stalin’s purges. His mother, Raya, resorted to digging peat, stacking bricks, and even bootlegging to support herself and her two children. How she managed to hold her family together in a rapidly deteriorating society—and how young Anatole survived the horrors of marginalization and war—form a story more compelling than any novel.
Looking back on those years from adulthood, Konstantin reflects on both his formal education under harsh conditions and his growing awareness of the contradictions between propaganda and reality. He tells of life in the small Ukrainian town of Khmelnik just before World War II and of how some of its citizens collaborated with the German occupation, lending new insight into the fate of Ukrainian Jews and Nazi corruption of local officials. And in recounting his experiences as a refugee, he offers a new look at everyday life in early postwar Poland and Germany, as well as one of the few firsthand accounts of life in postwar Displaced Persons camps.
A Red Boyhood takes readers inside Stalinist Russia to experience the grim realities of repression—both under a Soviet regime and German occupation. A moving story of desperate people in desperate times, it brings to life the harsh realities of the twentieth century for young and old readers alike.
The History and Politics of Counterinsurgency
In Resisting Rebellion, Anthony James Joes’s discussion of insurgencies ranges across five continents and spans more than two centuries. Analyzing examples from North and South America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, he identifies recurrent patterns and offers useful lessons for future policymakers. Insurgencies arise from many sources of discontent, including foreign occupation, fraudulent elections, and religious persecution, but they also stem from ethnic hostilities, the aspirations of would-be elites, and traditions of political violence. Because insurgency is as much a political phenomenon as a military one, effective counterinsurgency requires a thorough understanding of the insurgents’ motives and sources of support. Clear political aims must guide military action if a counterinsurgency is to be successful and establish a lasting reconciliation within a deeply fragmented society.
Dating back millennia, antisemitism has been called "the longest hatred." Thought to be vanquished after the horrors of the Holocaust, in recent decades it has once again become a disturbing presence in many parts of the world. Resurgent Antisemitism presents original research that elucidates the social, intellectual, and ideological roots of the "new" antisemitism and the place it has come to occupy in the public sphere. By exploring the sources, goals, and consequences of today's antisemitism and its relationship to the past, the book contributes to an understanding of this phenomenon that may help diminish its appeal and mitigate its more harmful effects.
A New View of Modern World History
"The rise of the West" has long been the accepted doctrine for framing analyses of world history. Privileging a Eurocentric approach, this traditional paradigm obscures the significance of the indigenous rich in non-Western regions and fails to recognize the contributions of the Orient. In this book, Peter Gran seeks to reframe current historical debates, presenting a model of analysis based on the rise of the rich. Gran outlines the structure of this new paradigm, building upon metanarrative concepts from Marxism to liberalism.
African Atlantic Religion in Kongo and the Lowcountry South in the Era of Slavery
In Rituals of Resistance Jason R. Young explores the religious and ritual practices that linked West-Central Africa with the Lowcountry region of Georgia and South Carolina during the era of slavery. The choice of these two sites mirrors the historical trajectory of the transatlantic slave trade which, for centuries, transplanted Kongolese captives to the Lowcountry through the ports of Charleston and Savannah. Analyzing the historical exigencies of slavery and the slave trade that sent not only men and women but also cultural meanings, signs, symbols, and patterns across the Atlantic, Young argues that religion operated as a central form of resistance against slavery and the ideological underpinnings that supported it. Through a series of comparative chapters on Christianity, ritual medicine, burial practices, and transmigration, Young details the manner in which Kongolese people, along with their contemporaries and their progeny who were enslaved in the Americas, utilized religious practices to resist the savagery of the slave trade and slavery itself. When slaves acted outside accepted parameters—in transmigration, spirit possession, ritual internment, and conjure—Young explains, they attacked not only the condition of being a slave, but also the systems of modernity and scientific rationalism that supported slavery. In effect, he argues, slave spirituality played a crucial role in the resocialization of the slave body and behavior away from the oppressions and brutalities of the master class. Young's work expands traditional scholarship on slavery to include both the extensive work done by African historians and current interdisciplinary debates in cultural studies, anthropology, and literature. Drawing on a wide range of primary sources from both American and African archives, including slave autobiography, folktales, and material culture, Rituals of Resistance offers readers a nuanced understanding of the cultural and religious connections that linked blacks in Africa with their enslaved contemporaries in the Americas. Moreover, Young's groundbreaking work gestures toward broader themes and connections, using the case of the Kongo and the Lowcountry to articulate the development of a much larger African Atlantic space that connected peoples, cultures, languages, and lives on and across the ocean's waters.
The Glass of an Eleventh-Century Shipwreck
For almost a millennium, a modest wooden ship lay underwater off the coast of Serçe Limani, Turkey, filled with evidence of trade and objects of daily life. The ship, now excavated by the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University, trafficked in both the Byzantine and Islamic worlds of its time. Known as "the Glass Wreck," it bore cargo that included three metric tons of glass cullet, including broken Islamic vessels and eighty pieces of intact glassware, along with various artifacts of ship life. This second volume of the discovery’s investigation focuses on the excavation, conservation, and study of the glass found in the wreckage. The extensive catalog will be a valuable tool for archaeologists and scholars of Islamic glass and Islamic trade. Further, the systematic methodology and presentation of such a large undertaking will serve as a model for future study across many disciplines.
The Turquoise Trade in World History
This book traces the journey of a stone across the world. From its point of origin in the city of Nishapur in eastern Iran, turquoise was traded through India, Central Asia, the Near East, Europe, and ultimately the Americas. Along this trail unfolds the story of turquoise--a phosphate of aluminum and copper formed by nature in rocks below the surface of the earth--and its discovery and export as a global commodity.
In early modern Eurasia, turquoise was regarded as a sacred object and blue a sacred color in the material culture and imperial regalia of Islamic tributary empires, a potent symbol of power projected in vivid color displays. Arash Khazeni then follows the stone's history throughout Europe, where it became coveted as an exotic object from the "East." The Eurasian turquoise trade lasted into the nineteenth century, when the oldest mines in Iran collapsed and lost Aztec mines in the Americas reopened, unearthing more accessible sources of the stone to rival the Persian blue.
Students, scholars, and interested historians will discover and appreciate the origins and circulation of this natural object, while also gaining greater understanding of the history of Islamic Eurasia in the context of world environmental processes and global encounters between nature and empire.
Lynching in Global Historical Perspective
Scholarship on lynching has typically been confined to the extralegal execution of African Americans in the American South. The nine essays collected here look at lynching in the context of world history, encouraging a complete rethinking of the history of collective violence. Employing a diverse range of case studies, the volume’s contributors work to refute the notion that the various acts of group homicide called "lynching" in American history are unique or exceptional.
Some essays consider the practice of lynching in a global context, confounding the popular perception that Americans were alone in their behavior and suggesting a wide range of approaches to studying extralegal collective violence. Others reveal the degree to which the practice of lynching has influenced foreigners’ perceptions of the United States and asking questions such as, Why have people adopted the term lynching—or avoided it? How has the meaning of the word been transformed over time in society? What contextual factors explain such transformations? Ultimately, the essays illuminate, opening windows on ordinary people’s thinking on such critical issues as the role of law in their society and their attitudes toward their own government.