A Non-Western Colonial Power? The Qing Empire in Postcolonial Discourse
Pages 311 - 342
In the last decades, new attention has been given to colonialism as a concept that can also be applied to non-Western empires. In particular, colonialism has been used to describe the diverse systems of conquest rule applied by the Manchu Qing dynasty (1636/1644-1912) in Inner Asia and South China.
This essay provides a conceptual history of how colonialism has been applied in the historiography of non-Western empires, using the Qing empire as a case study. Scholarly works in which Qing rule is conceptualized as colonial are read critically, in tandem with current understandings of global and Qing history as well as of colonial and postcolonial theory and empire studies. Finally, this essay discusses whether the concept of colonialism can be used meaningfully to analyze Qing rule and puts this discussion in relation to a general debate on the spatiality and temporality of colonialism studies and postcolonial theory.
1 Adas, Michael. “Imperialism and Colonialism in Comparative Perspective”, The International History Review 20.2 (1998), 371–388.
2 Andrade, Tonio. How Taiwan Became Chinese: Dutch, Spanish, and Han Colonization in the Seventeenth Century. New York: Columbia University, 2009.
3 Atran, Scott. “The Surrogate Colonization of Palestine 1917–1939”, American Ethnologist 16.4 (1989), 719–744.
4 Bulag, Uradyn E. “Clashes of Administrative Nationalisms: Banners and Leagues vs. Counties and Provinces in Inner Mongolia”, in: Schorkowitz and Chia 2017, 349–388.
5 Cams, Mario (ed.). “Recent Additions to the New Qing History Debate” (theme issue), Contemporary Chinese Thought 47.1 (2017).
6 Chakrabarty, Dipesh. Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University, 2000.
7 Clément, Alain. “Liberalism and Anti-Colonialism”, Revue Économique 63.1 (2012), 5–26.
8 Connolly, William E. Identity/Difference: Democratic Negotiations of Political Paradox. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, 2002.
9 Crossley, Pamela. “Manzhou yuanliu kao and the Formalization of the Manchu Heritage”, Journal of Asian Studies 46.4 (1987), 761-790.
10 Crossley, Pamela. A Translucent Mirror: History and Identity in Qing Imperial Ideology. Berkeley, CA: University of California, 1999.
11 Crossley, Pamela. “The Lifanyuan and Stability during Qing Imperial Expansion”, in: Schorkowitz and Chia 2017, 92-115.
12 Darwin, John. After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire since 1405. New York: Bloomsbury, 2008.
13 Di Cosmo, Nicola. “Qing Colonial Administration in Inner Asia”, International History Review 20.2 (1998), 287-309.
14 Di Cosmo, Nicola and Wyatt, Don (eds.). Political Frontiers, Ethnic Boundaries, and Human Geographies in Chinese History. London: Routledge Curzon, 2003.
15 Eller, Jack David. “Ethnicity, Culture, and ‘The Past‘”, Michigan Quarterly Review 36.4 (1997), 552-600.
16 Elliott, Mark C. The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China. Stanford, CA: Stanford University, 2001.
17 Elliott, Mark C. “The Case of the Missing Indigene: Debate Over a ‘Second-Generation’ Ethnic Policy”, China Journal 73 (2015), 186-213.
18 Elverskog, Johan. Our Great Qing: The Mongols, Buddhism and the State in Late Imperial China. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i, 2006.
19 Ferro, Marc. Colonization: A Global History. London: Routledge, 1997.
20 Finley, Moses I. “Colonies: An Attempt at a Typology”, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, Fifth Series, 26 (1976), 167-188.
21 Fiskesjö, Magnus. “On the ‘Raw’ and the ‘Cooked’ Barbarians of Imperial China”, Inner Asia 1.2 (1999), 139-168.
22 Ge Zhaoguang 葛兆光. Hewei Zhongguo? Jiangyu, minzu, wenhua yu lishi 何為中國—疆域、民族、文化與歷史. Xianggang: Niujin daxue, 2014.
23 Ge Zhaoguang 葛兆光.: “Mingshi zhijian: youguan ‘Hanhua’, ‘zhimin’ yu ‘diguo’ de zhenglun” 名实之间—有关「汉化」、「殖民」与「帝国」的争论, Fudan xuebao (shehuikexue ban) 复旦学报 (社会科学版) = Fudan Journal (Social Sciences) 6 (2016), 1-11.
24 Giersch, Charles Patterson. Asian Borderlands: The Transformation of Qing China's Yunnan Frontier. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, 2006.
25 Gilley, Bruce. “The Case for Colonialism”, Third World Quarterly (2017), 1-17, withdrawn; republished in Academic Questions 31 (2018), 167-185.
26 Hallaq, Wael B. Restating Orientalism: A Critique of Modern Knowledge. New York: Columbia University, 2018.
27 Harrell, Stevan (ed.). Cultural Encounters on China's Ethnic Frontiers. Seattle: University of Washington, 2003.
28 Hechter, Michael. Internal Colonialism: The Celtic Fringe in British National Development, 1536-1966. Berkeley, CA: University of California, 1975.
29 Herman, John E. “Empire in the Southwest: Early Qing Reforms to the Native Chieftain System”, Journal of Asian Studies 56.1 (1997), 47-74.
30 Herman, John E. Amid the Clouds and Mist: China's Colonization of Guizhou, 1200-1700. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, 2007.
31 Herman, John E. “From Land Reclamation to Land Grab: Settler Colonialism in Southwest China, 1680-1735”, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 78.1 (2018), 91-123.
32 Heuschert, Dorothea. “Legal Pluralism in the Qing Empire: Manchu Legislation for the Mongols”, The International History Review 20.2 (1998), 310-324.
33 Hostetler, Laura. Qing Colonial Enterprise: Ethnography and Cartography in Early Modern China. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago, 2001.
34 Hucker, Charles O. A Dictionary of Official Titles in Imperial China. Stanford, CA: Stanford University, 1985.
35 Jones, Rhys and Phillips, Richard: “Unsettling Geographical Horizons: Exploring Premodern and Non-European Imperialism”, Annals of the Association of American Geographers 95.1 (2005), 141-161.
36 Karl, Rebecca E. Staging the World: Chinese Nationalism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century. Durham, NC: Duke University, 2002.
37 Kendhammer, Brandon. “A Controversial Article Praises Colonialism. But Colonialism's Real Legacy Was Ugly”, Washington Post, September 19, 2017, sec. Analysis. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/09/19/colonialism-left-behind-a-long-legacy-most-of-it-bad/ (last access 2020-08-20).
38 Kohn, Margaret and Reddy, Kavita. “Colonialism”, in: The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Archive, ed. by Edward N. Zalta. Autumn 2017 edition. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2017/entries/colonialism/ (last access 2020-08-20).
39 Larsen, Kirk W. Tradition, Treaties, and Trade: Qing Imperialism and Chos⊖n Korea, 1850-1910. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2008.
40 Lattimore, Owen. “Chinese Colonization in Inner Mongolia: Its History and Present Development”, in: Pioneer Settlement: Cooperative Studies by 26 Authors (New York: American Geographical Society, 1932), 288-312.
41 Zhu, Lili. “Manchu-Han Relations in Qing China: Reconsidering the Concept of Continental Colonialism in Chinese History”, in: Shifting Forms of Continental Colonialism: Unfinished Struggles and Tensions, ed. by Dittmar Schorkowitz, John R. Chavéz, and Ingo W. Schröder (Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), 175-195.
42 Lavelle, Peter B. The Profits of Nature: Colonial Development and the Quest for Resources in Nineteenth-Century China. New York: Columbia University, 2020.
43 Li Lin 李林. “‘Kaihua’ yu ‘zhimin’ liang tao quanshi huayu de lunzheng yu kunjing: jian yu John E. Herman jiaoshou shangque” 「開化」與「殖民」 兩套詮釋話語的論爭與困境—兼與 John E. Herman 教授商榷, Zhongyang yanjiuyuan jindaishi yanjiusuo jikan 中央研究院近代史研究所集刊 80 (2013), 151-70.
44 Liu Wenpeng 刘文鹏. “Huidao guojia jiangou: dui Qingdai lishi yanjiu zhong diguozhuyi lujing de zai fenxi” 回到国家建构—对清代历史研究中帝国主义路径的再分析, Shixue lilun yanjiu 史学理论研究 2 (2017), 96-160 [Liu 2017 (1)].
45 Liu Wenpeng 刘文鹏. “Lun quanqiu shiguanxia de ‘Manzhou zhiminzhuyi‘” 论全球史观下的“满洲殖民主义”, Zhongguo renmin daxue xuekan 中国人民大学学报 2 (2017), 138-145 [Liu 2017 (2)].
46 Losurdo, Domenico. Liberalism: A Counter-History, translated by Gregory Elliott. London: Verso, 2011.
47 Lusher, Adam. “Professor's ‘Bring Back Colonialism’ Call Sparks Fury and Academic Freedom Debate”, The Independent, October 12, 2017. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/colonialism-academic-article-bruce-gilley-threats-violence-published-withdrawn-third-world-quarterly-a7996371.html (last access 2020-08-20).
48 McCarthy, Thomas. Race, Empire, and the Idea of Human Development. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University, 2009.
49 Mignolo, Walter D. The Darker Side of the Renaissance: Literacy, Territoriality, and Colonization. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1995.
50 Millward, James A. Beyond the Pass: Economy, Ethnicity and Empire in Qing Central Asia, 1759-1864. Stanford, CA: Stanford University, 1998.
51 Millward, James A, et al (eds.). New Qing Imperial History: The Making of Inner Asian Empire at Qing Chengde. London: Routledge Curzon, 2004.
52 Muthu, Sankar. Enlightenment against Empire. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University, 2003.
53 Ning, Chia. Lifanyuan and the Management of Population Diversity in Early Qing (1636-1795). Halle: Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, 2012.
54 Oidtmann, Max. Forging the Golden Urn: The Qing Empire and the Politics of Reincarnation in Tibet. New York: Columbia University, 2018.
55 Osterhammel, Jürgen. Die Entzauberung Asiens: Europa und die asiatischen Reiche im 18. Jahrhundert. München: Beck, 1998.
56 Osterhammel, Jürgen and Jansen, Jan C. Kolonialismus: Geschichte, Formen, Folgen. München: Beck, 2012.
57 Patel, Vimal. “Last Fall This Scholar Defended Colonialism. Now He's Defending Himself”, The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 21, 2018. https://www.chronicle.com/article/Last-Fall-This-Scholar/242880 (last access 2020-08-20).
58 Perdue, Peter C. “Comparing Empires: Manchu Colonialism”, International History Review 20.2 (1998), 255-262.
59 Perdue, Peter C. “The Qing Empire in Eurasian Time and Space: Lessons from the Galdan Campaign”, in: Struve 2004, 57-91.
60 Perdue, Peter C. China Marches West: The Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia. Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 2005.
61 Perdue, Peter C. “China and Other Colonial Empires”, Journal of American-East Asian Relations 16.1–2 (2009), 85–103.
62 Prashad, Vijay, et al. “Letter of Resignation from Members of the Editorial Board of Third World Quarterly”, September 19, 2017. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10214329786508248&id=1524464438&set=a.1048612385268 (last access 2020-08-20).
63 Rawski, Evelyn. The Last Emperors: A Social History of Qing Imperial Institutions. Berkeley, CA: University of California, 1998.
64 Rhoads, Edward J. M. Manchus and Han: Ethnic Relations and Political Power in Late Qing and Early Republican China, 1861–1928. Seattle, WA: University of Washington, 2000.
65 Sala-Molins, Louis. Dark Side of the Light: Slavery and the French Enlightenment, translated and with an introduction by John Conteh-Morgan. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, 2006.
66 Sanjdorj, Magsarzhavyn. Manchu Chinese Colonial Rule in Northern Mongolia, translated and annotated by Urgunge Onon, with a preface by Owen Lattimore. London: Hurst, 1980.
67 Schneider, Julia C. “The Jin Revisited: New Assessment of Jurchen Emperors”, Journal of Song-Yuan Studies 41.1 (2011), 343–404.
68 Schneider, Julia C. Nation and Ethnicity: Chinese Discourses on History, Historiography, and Nationalism (1900s–1920s). Leiden: Brill, 2017.
69 Schneider, Julia C. “When the World Shrinks: Chinese Concepts of Culture, Identity and History in the Early Twentieth Century”, in: “Worldviews in Twentieth-Century Chinese Historiography” (theme issue), ed. by Q. Edward Wang, Global Intellectual History 2020, 1–23.
70 Schorkowitz, Dittmar and Chia, Ning (eds.). Managing Frontiers in Qing China: The Lifanyuan and Libu Revisited. Leiden: Brill, 2017.
71 Sen, Sudipta. “The New Frontiers of Manchu China and the Historiography of Asian Empires: A Review Essay”, Journal of Asian Studies 61.1 (2002), 165–177.
72 Shepherd, John Robert. Statecraft and Political Economy on the Taiwan Frontier, 1600–1800. Stanford, CA: Stanford University, 1993.
73 Shih, Shu-mei. “The Concept of the Sinophone”, Publications of the Modern Language Association (PMLA) 126.3 (2011), 718–709.
74 Slezkine, Yuri. “Commentary: Imperialism as the Highest Stage of Socialism”, Russian Review 59.2 (2000), 227–234.
75 Steinmetz, George. “Empires and Colonialism”, in Baxter, Janeen (ed.): Oxford Bibliographies. Sociology, 2014. https://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199756384/obo-9780199756384-0090.xml (last access 2020-08-20).
76 Struve, Lynn A. “Introduction”, in: Struve 2004, 1–54.
77 Struve, Lynn A (ed.). The Qing Formation in World-Historical Time. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2004.
78 Sutton, Donald S. “Violence and Ethnicity on a Qing Colonial Frontier: Customary and Statutory Law in the Eighteenth-Century Miao Pale”, Modern Asian Studies 37.1 (2003), 41-80.
79 Teng, Emma Jinhua. “An Island of Women: The Discourse of Gender in Qing Travel Writing about Taiwan”, The International History Review 20.2 (1998), 353-370.
80 Teng, Emma Jinhua.: Taiwan's Imagined Geography: Chinese Colonial Travel Writing and Pictures, 1683-1895. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2004.
81 Van Den Stock, Ady. The Horizon of Modernity: Subjectivity and Social Structure in New Confucian Philosophy. Leiden: Brill, 2016.
82 Von Glahn, Richard. “Introduction”, in: Struve 2004, xi-xiv.
83 Wang Hui 汪晖. Xiandai Zhongguo sixiang de xingqi 现代中国思想的兴起. Beijing: Sanlian, 2004.
84 Wang Hui 汪晖. China from Empire to Nation-State. Translated by Michael Gibbs Hill. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, 2014.
85 Wiens, Herold Jacob. China's March toward the Tropics. Hamden, CT: Shoe String, 1954.
86 Wolfe, Patrick. “History and Imperialism: A Century of Theory, from Marx to Postcolonialism”, American Historical Review 102.2 (1997), 388-420.
87 Wolfe, Patrick. Settler Colonialism and the Transformation of Anthropology: The Politics and Poetics of an Ethnographic Event. London: Cassell, 1999.
88 Young, Robert J. C. “Colonia and Imperium”, in: Dictionary of the Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon, ed. by Barbara Cassin (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University, 2014), 1056-1058.
89 Zhao Tingyang 赵汀阳. Tianxia tixi: shijie zhidu zhexue taolun 天下体系—世界制度哲学导论. Nanjing: Jiangxu jiaoyu, 2005.
90 Zhao Tingyang 赵汀阳. “Rethinking Empire from a Chinese Concept ‘All-under-Heaven’ (Tian-Xia)”, Social Identities 12.1 (2006), 29-41.
91 Zhu, Lili. “Manchu-Han Relations in Qing China: Reconsidering the Concept of Continental Colonialism in Chinese History”, in: Shifting Forms of Continental Colonialism: Unfinished Struggles and Tensions, ed. by Dittmar Schorkowitz, John R. Chavéz, and Ingo W. Schröder (Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), 175-195.