Journal of World History, vol. 20, no. 1 (2009)


Frontier Discourse and China’s Maritime Frontier: China’s Frontiers and the Encounter with the Sea through Early Imperial History
Hugh R. Clark, 1

This article provides a model for the analysis of China’s land and maritime frontiers through early imperial history (through the first millennium C.E.), arguing that three basic types of frontier existed: the “static continental frontier,” the “expanding continental frontier,” and the “maritime frontier.” Through his definition of “frontier” and a comparative discussion of the dynamics of all three frontier types, and with reference to the better known analyses of frontiers in the histories of Europe and North America, the author approaches all frontiers as zones of conflict between civilization and barbarism.

The Chinos in New Spain: A Corrective Lens for a Distorted Image
Edward R. Slack Jr., 35

The study of Asian migration to colonial Mexico via the Manila galleons has been languishing in academic oblivion. By exploring contemporary archival and visual records of the chino, this article reveals the ambiguous status of Asians in a race-based caste system imposed by Castilians on the inhabitants of New Spain. It also probes the reasons behind widespread social amnesia in the mid to late eighteenth century with respect to Mexico’s Asian heritage. Furthermore, this article contests accepted scholarly definitions of mestizaje that emphasize a purely Atlantic pedigree. Reconstructing colonial Mexico’s chino identity is imperative for “reorienting” its social history and chronologically repositioning studies on Asian diasporas in the Americas.

Overlapping Histories: Writing Prison and Penal Practices in Late Imperial and Early Republican China
Michael Tsin, 69

It has often been said that the Chinese prison and penal reform in the early twentieth century was part of a global circulation of Western institutions and practices and signified China’s entry into the modern era. The process has also been described as an example of how the local (China) interacted with the global (the West). By moving back in time to locate some fragments of the histories of penal practices and their representation from earlier periods, the objective of this article is to trace the trajectory in which the histories of prison and penal practices became intertwined with the politics of European expansion, and to suggest that the “modernity” of the reform was as much about the reframing of the multifarious histories of the past as a new history of difference as it was about the adoption of Western institutions and practices. In doing
so, it also seeks to demonstrate how the global and the local can best be conceptualized as historical temporalities rather than specific locales.

Coloring Universal History: Robert Benjamin Lewis’s Light and Truth (1843) and William Wells Brown’s The Black Man (1863)
Marnie Hughes-Warrington, 99

The idea of universal history is conventionally associated with nineteenth-century writers and the project of imperialism. This article presents an expanded definition of universal history, one that covers unified histories of the known world or universe, histories that aim to illuminate universal principles, histories of the world unified by the workings of a single mind, and histories of the world that have passed down through unbroken lines of transmission. Encompassed in the broader range of this definition are works by authors who are conventionally seen as marginalized by nineteenth-century historiography. Using the works of two African American authors—Robert Benjamin Lewis and William Wells Brown—as a case study, this article highlights the complexities and cross currents of universal history writing by those on the margins, and the importance of voluntary associations in the production and circulation of their texts.

Atlantic Republicanism in Nineteenth-Century Colombia: Spanish America’s Challenge to the Contours of Atlantic History
James E. Sanders, 131

This article argues that the Age of Revolution and the abolition of slavery do not
adequately mark the termination of the Atlantic world’s political processes, at least concerning Latin America. Employing archival evidence from Colombia as a case study (as well as evidence from Mexico and Uruguay), the article explores how during the nineteenth century in Spain’s former colonies, subalterns, especially popular liberals, and elites debated the meanings of nation, citizen, and democracy. These struggles over visions of republicanism and democracy that racked the region throughout most of the nineteenth century cannot be understood outside of an Atlantic context, nor can the full history of the Atlantic Age of Revolution be complete without taking into account the democratic and republican developments of mid nineteenth-century Spanish America.


Carter Vaughn Findley. The Turks in World History
reviewed by Matthew Gordon, 151

Marc S. Abramson. Ethnic Identity in Tang China
reviewed by Paul Fischer, 153

Ann Jannetta. The Vaccinators: Smallpox, Medical Knowledge, and the ‘Opening’ of Japan
reviewed by Angela Schottenhammer, 156

João Resende-Santos. Neorealism, States, and the Modern Mass Army
reviewed by Andrew J. Kirkendall, 158

Martin Shipway. Decolonization and Its Impact: A Comparative Approach to the End of the Colonial Empires
reviewed by Charles C. Kolb, 160