New Book | Oriental Networks

Posted in books by Editor on February 9, 2021

Distributed by Rutgers University Press:

Bärbel Czennia and Greg Clingham, eds., Oriental Networks: Culture, Commerce, and Communication in the Long Eighteenth Century (Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2020), 340 pages, ISBN: 978-1684482726 (cloth), $120 / ISBN: 978-1684482719 (paperback), $45 / ISBN: 978-1684482757 (pdf), $45 / ISBN: 978-1684482733 (ebook), $45.

Oriental Networks explores forms of interconnectedness between Western and Eastern hemispheres during the long eighteenth century, a period of improving transportation technology, expansion of intercultural contacts, and the emergence of a global economy. In eight case studies and a substantial introduction, the volume examines relationships between individuals and institutions, precursors to modern networks that engaged in forms of intercultural exchange. Addressing the exchange of cultural commodities (plants, animals, and artifacts), cultural practices and ideas, the roles of ambassadors and interlopers, and the literary and artistic representation of networks, networkers, and networking, contributors discuss the effects on people previously separated by vast geographical and cultural distance. Rather than idealizing networks as inherently superior to other forms of organization, Oriental Networks also considers Enlightenment expressions of resistance to networking that inform modern skepticism toward the concept of the global network and its politics. In doing so the volume contributes to the increasingly global understanding of culture and communication.

Bärbel Czennia has served as associate professor of English at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and as tenured senior lecturer of English literature at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany, for more than 25 years. She is the author or editor of many essays and two books, including Celebrities: The Idiom of a Modern Era.

Greg Clingham is emeritus professor of English at Bucknell University, a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge, and the author or editor of ten books, including Johnson, Writing, and Memory. From 1996 to 2018, he was director of the Bucknell University Press.


List of Illustrations

Introduction: Bärbel Czennia — Oriental Networks in the Long Eighteenth Century
1  Richard Coulton — Knowing and Growing Tea: China, Britain, and the Formation of a Modern Global Commodity
2  Stephanie Howard-Smith — China-Pugs: The Global Circulation of Chinoiseries, Porcelain, and Lapdogs, 1660–1800
3  Barbel Czennia — Green Rubies from the Ganges: Eighteenth-Century Gardening as Intercultural Networking
4  Samara Anne Cahill — The Blood of Noble Martyrs: Penelope Aubin’s Global Economy of Virtue as Critique of Imperial Networks
5  Jennifer L. Hargrave — Robert Morrison and the Dialogic Representation of Imperial China
6  James Watt — At Home with Empire? Charles Lamb, the East India Company, and ‘The South Sea House’
7  Greg Clingham — Commerce and Cosmology on Lord George Macartney’s Embassy to China, 1792–94
8  Kevin L. Cope — Extreme Networking: Maria Graham’s Mountaintop, Underground, Intercontinental, and Otherwise Multidimensional Connections



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