Journal of World History, vol. 23, no. 1 (2012)



Global China: Material Culture and Connections in World History
Anne Gerritsen and Stephen McDowall, 3

The multidisciplinary articles in this special issue were developed in conjunction with a research project on the cultures of porcelain in global history, hosted by the Global History and Culture Centre at the University of Warwick. These articles all situate porcelain within wider contexts of material and visual culture. This approach reveals the complexities of the processes involved in the appropriation of Chinese ceramics in England and Iran and in the diffusion of Chinese-style ceramics in the western Indian Ocean, and explores the ways in which ideas about Chineseness were formed, and a global visual culture on the theme of porcelain production emerged.

The Movement of Chinese Ceramics: Appropriation in Global History
Stacey Pierson, 9

The subject of Chinese export ceramics has recently moved beyond the traditional confines of art history into the purview of economic and world history. In consequence, Chinese porcelain in particular is increasingly being used as a model for studies of global connections in history and economics, with reference to both exchange networks and consumer cultures. The perspective of these studies is somewhat one-dimensional and universalizing, however. This article seeks to reconsider the current state of affairs by presenting two case studies from sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England and Iran, which demonstrate that while the dissemination of Chinese porcelain may have been global, its impact was local.

Global Trade and Swahili Cosmopolitan Material Culture: Chinese-Style Ceramic Shards from Sanje ya Kati and Songo Mnara (Kilwa, Tanzania)
Bing Zhao, 41

This article deals with Chinese-style ceramic shards recently excavated from Songo Mnara and Sanje ya Kati, two insular medieval stonetown sites in Kilwa Bay, Tanzania. The author argues for a regional approach that better accommodates the complexity and particularity of the diffusion and consumption of Chinese ceramics in what is considered a semi-periphery within the Indian Ocean world-system. The article presents a critical synthesis of a number of existing studies, and explores the evaluative potential of density and comparisons with larger-volume regional commodities as tools of analysis for Chinese-style ceramic diffusion in the western Indian Ocean.

Material Culture and the Other: European Encounters with Chinese Porcelain, ca. 1650–1800
Anne Gerritsen and Stephen McDowall, 87

The consumption of Asian luxury goods in early modern Europe has generated a large volume of scholarly research, much of it exploring connections between the exotic object and the identity of the consumer. Links between luxury goods and perceptions of producers in the early modern world remain relatively unexplored. To what extent did European travelers imagine a connection between material culture and Chinese identity or “Chineseness”? Through a close reading of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century travel accounts, this article traces changing European perceptions of material culture and the “other,” that is, perceived links between luxury objects and their Chinese producers.

From the Imperial Court to the International Art Market: Jingdezhen Porcelain Production as Global Visual Culture
Ellen C. Huang, 115

This article describes the emergence, circulation, and provenance of major visual sources on Jingdezhen ceramic history and production. Beginning with the album referred to as “Taoye tu” (Pictures of porcelain production) in eighteenth-century Qing court documents, it follows the dissemination of the visual genre from the Qing imperial court to European, Japanese, and North American consumers across various mediums and disparate political units. Rather than analyze them as disparate genres, this article proposes to view Qing court paintings, export art, woodblock prints, and foreign translations as global historical phenomena, in order to show the existence of a shared visual culture in which production was the primary pictorial theme.


Fred Spier. Big History and the Future of Humanity
reviewed by Kraig Schwartz, 147

David J. Meltzer. First Peoples in a New World: Colonizing Ice Age America
reviewed by Mark Dailey, 149

Jeremy McInerney. The Cattle of the Sun: Cows and Culture in the World of the Ancient Greeks
reviewed by Gary D. Farney, 152

Athanassios G. Platias and Constantinos Koliopoulos. Thucydides on Strategy: Grand Strategies in the Peloponnesian War and Their Relevance Today
reviewed by Paul A. Rahe, 155

Martin Gilbert. In Ishmael’s House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands
reviewed by Khaleel Mohammed, 159

Robert Ferguson. The Vikings: A History
reviewed by R. Andrew McDonald, 163

Abdul Sheriff. Dhow Cultures of the Indian Ocean: Cosmopolitanism, Commerce, and Islam
reviewed by Ghulam A. Nadri, 167

Timothy Brook. The Troubled Empire: China in the Yuan and Ming Dynasties
reviewed by Wensheng Wang, 170

Stephen F. Dale. The Muslim Empires of the Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals
reviewed by Cengiz Sisman, 174

Baki Tezcan. The Second Ottoman Empire: Political and Social Transformation in the Early Modern World
reviewed by Jane Hathaway, 177

R. Po-Chia Hsia. A Jesuit in the Forbidden City: Matteo Ricci, 1552–1610
reviewed by Jeremy Clarke, S.J., 181

Avner Ben-Zaken. Cross-Cultural Scientific Exchanges in the Eastern Mediterranean, 1560–1660
reviewed by Joanna Carraway Vitiello, 184

James H. Sweet. Domingos Álvares, African Healing, and the Intellectual History of the Atlantic World
reviewed by Jeremy Rich, 188

Alexander X. Byrd. Captives and Voyagers: Black Migrants across the Eighteenth-Century British Atlantic World
reviewed by Kennetta Hammond Perry, 190

Eric Jones. Wives, Slaves, and Concubines: A History of the Female Underclass in Dutch Asia
reviewed by Susie Protschky, 193

Wynn Wilcox, ed. Vietnam and the West: New Approaches
reviewed by Shelton Woods, 197

Elvira Vilches. New World Gold: Cultural Anxiety and Monetary Disorder in Early Modern Spain
reviewed by Gayle K. Brunelle, 199

Julie Flavell. When London Was the Capital of America
reviewed by Andrew Shankman, 202

Paul Cheney. Revolutionary Commerce: Globalization and the French Monarchy
reviewed by Junko Thérèse Takeda, 205

Kevin B. Anderson. Marx at the Margins: On Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Non-Western Societies
reviewed by Viren Murthy, 209

Ian Tyrrell. Reforming the World: The Creation of America’s Moral Empire
reviewed by Clif Stratton, 214

Sean McMeekin. The Berlin-Baghdad Express: The Ottoman Empire and Germany’s Bid for World Power
reviewed by Robert Zens, 218

Eugene M. Avrutin. Jews and the Imperial State: Identification Politics in Tsarist Russia
reviewed by Jarrod Tanny, 221

Mark Traugott. The Insurgent Barricade
reviewed by Linda Frey and Marsha Frey, 224

Andrew Zimmerman. Alabama in Africa: Booker T. Washington, the German Empire, and the Globalization of the New South
reviewed by Douglas Henry Daniels, 225

Steven Bryan. The Gold Standard at the Turn of the Twentieth Century: Rising Powers, Global Money, and the Age of Empire
reviewed by Kenneth Mouré, 228

J. R. McNeill and Corinna R. Unger, eds. Environmental Histories of the Cold War
reviewed by Roger Eardley-Pryor, 231