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Hybrid Maps: Reformatting the Chinese Imperial Realm According to 19th-Century Western Cartography
June 2023 @ 18:15 - 19:45
1. June, 18:15 – 19:45
The definition of “The Great Qing Everlasting Unified” was frequently used in titles of general maps of the imperial realm in the beginning of the 19th century. It formally distinguishes one of the most widely known and impressive group of Chinese maps, the so-called Blue Maps and their multi-coloured congeners. This series of large format wall maps is representative of the late imperial phase of the development of traditional Chinese cartography. Göttingen State and University Library possesses a unique surviving copy of a hand-coloured map of this kind. The map is signed by Li Mingche (1751-1832), a Taoist master and a recognised Chinese astronomer and cartographer, who was propagating Western science in China. The proposed presentation analyzes how Li Mingche tried to reformat traditional Chinese representation of the realm of the Qing empire according to the standards of modern Western cartography and evaluate the outcome of this attempt from the point of view of Chinese and the Western cartographic traditions.
Dr. Vera Dorofeeva-Lichtmann studies historical Chinese conceptions of terrestrial space and their continuous influence on Chinese cartography. Since 2000 she is a Chargé de Recherche at the CNRS (France), and in 2017-2023 was recurrently a Visiting Scholar of the Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science, Berlin (Germany). Her latest publications cover a large scope of text-map relationships, including translation of text into maps.
Prof. Dominic Sachsenmaier, University of Göttingen