Enfilade

Call for Articles | Rhetorics of Landscape: Court and Society

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on November 14, 2014

From H-Asia:

Rhetorics of Landscape: Court and Society in the Early Modern World
Proposals due by 21 November 2014

I am seeking targeted contributions for an edited volume exploring the role of landscape in the articulation and expression of imperial and elite identities and the mediation of relationships between courts and their many audiences across the early modern world. Through a series of focused studies from Asia, the Islamic world, and Europe, the volume seeks to illuminate how early modern courts and societies shaped, and were shaped by, the landscape, including both physical sites, such as gardens, palaces, cities and hunting parks, and conceptual ones, such as those of frontiers, idealized polities, and the cosmos. Please see description of the volume rationale below.

Proposals focusing on landscapes from all regions in Asia from the 16th to the 19th century are welcome. Areas of particular interest include, but are by no means limited to, Ming and Qing China; Choson Korea; Tokugawa Japan; pre-colonial Southeast Asia; the Mughal empire; Rajput states; the Ottomans, and Central Asian states. The volume is in preparation for submission to a US-based university press and will be peer-reviewed. Finished essays should be approximately 6,000–9,000 words inclusive of notes.

Potential contributors should plan on submitting a first draft for internal editing and comments by the end of January 2015, with drafts for peer review by 1 April 2015 (there may be some flexibility around deadline; please be in touch if you are interested but need a different schedule). Interested scholars should submit a proposal of 250–500 words and CV by Friday 21 November 2014, to stephen.whiteman@sydney.edu.au. Questions and comments are also welcome.

Stephen Whiteman
Department of Art History & Film Studies
The University of Sydney

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Rhetorics of Landscape: Court and Society in the Early Modern World

Courts and societies across the early modern Eurasian world were fundamentally transformed by the physical, technological and conceptual developments of their era. Evolving forms of communication, greatly expanded mobility, the spread of scientific knowledge, and the emergence of an increasingly integrated global economy all affected the means by which states articulated and projected visions of authority into societies that, in turn, perceived and responded to these visions in often contrasting terms. Landscape both reflected and served as a vehicle for these transformations, as the relationship between the land and its imagination and consumption became a fruitful site for the negotiation of imperial identities within and beyond the precincts of the court.

This volume explores the role of landscape in the articulation and expression of imperial identity and the mediation of relationships between the court and its many audiences in the early modern world. Focused studies from across Asia, the Islamic world and Europe illuminate how early modern courts and societies shaped, and were shaped by, the landscape, including both physical sites, such as gardens, palaces, cities and hunting parks, and conceptual ones, such as those of frontiers, idealized polities, and the cosmos.

Through comparative inquiry, this volume seeks to move away from readings of early modern societies simply as nascent modernities, instead articulating ways of understanding the period as one of contact and mobility that was nevertheless characterized by points of intercultural congruence, coincidence, and distinctiveness, as well. The collected essays expand the meaning and potential of landscape as a communicative medium in this period by putting an array of forms and subjects in dialogue with one another, including not only unique expressions, such as gardens, paintings and manuscripts, but also the products of rapidly developing commercial technologies of reproduction, such as printing, porcelain and textiles. Understanding physical and represented landscapes as ontologically equal, yet rhetorically distinct expressions, the volume invites a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the complexity with which early modern states constructed and deployed different modes of landscape for different audiences and environments.

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