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Introduction to “Mapping Vietnameseness”

Introduction to “Mapping Vietnameseness” MAPPING VIETNAMESENESS HUE-TAM HO TAI Harvard University Vietnam and China are currently engaged in a map war, with each country using ancient maps to buttress its claims to territorial sovereignty over some uninhabited islands in the South China Sea (in Chinese terminology), also known as the Eastern Sea (in Vietnamese). But what do maps in fact represent? What is meant by "territory"? How are territorial limits conceived? These questions were raised in a May 2015 workshop inspired by Thongchai Winichakul's Siam Mapped: A History of the Geo-Body of a Nation (1994), a groundbreaking book that traces the transformation of Thai geographical consciousness as a result of Siam's encounter with Western powers in the nineteenth century. While many of Thongchai's insights apply to the Vietnamese case, as the first of the three articles included in this special issue of Cross-Currents shows, some of the 2015 workshop participants' conclusions departed from his, especially regarding the formation of a Vietnamese geographical consciousness before the colonial period.1 This is true of the other two papers, which focus specifically on the construction of borders and the associated production of maps in the nineteenth century before French colonial conquest. The first known Vietnamese maps, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review University of Hawai'I Press

Introduction to “Mapping Vietnameseness”

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © Research Institute of Korean Studies, Korea University
ISSN
2158-9674
Publisher site
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Abstract

MAPPING VIETNAMESENESS HUE-TAM HO TAI Harvard University Vietnam and China are currently engaged in a map war, with each country using ancient maps to buttress its claims to territorial sovereignty over some uninhabited islands in the South China Sea (in Chinese terminology), also known as the Eastern Sea (in Vietnamese). But what do maps in fact represent? What is meant by "territory"? How are territorial limits conceived? These questions were raised in a May 2015 workshop inspired by Thongchai Winichakul's Siam Mapped: A History of the Geo-Body of a Nation (1994), a groundbreaking book that traces the transformation of Thai geographical consciousness as a result of Siam's encounter with Western powers in the nineteenth century. While many of Thongchai's insights apply to the Vietnamese case, as the first of the three articles included in this special issue of Cross-Currents shows, some of the 2015 workshop participants' conclusions departed from his, especially regarding the formation of a Vietnamese geographical consciousness before the colonial period.1 This is true of the other two papers, which focus specifically on the construction of borders and the associated production of maps in the nineteenth century before French colonial conquest. The first known Vietnamese maps,

Journal

Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture ReviewUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Dec 13, 2016

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