Beyond boundaries: Mapping culture and diplomacy in late nineteenth-century Shanghai

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsPresentation


This paper investigates an understudied collection of Shanghai maps produced in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In addition to illustrated maps in local gazetteers, a large number of single-sheet painted manuscript maps, as well as maps produced by foreigners, proliferated in the market. Technological innovations, flourishing commercialization, and a thriving modern press further facilitated the replication and circulation of maps, with the first Chinese surveyed map, the 1875 Complete Map of the Shanghai District Town, Its Immediate Surroundings, and the Concessions (Shanghai xian chengxiang zujie quantu) as the most significant example. After 1843, Shanghai had become a treaty port and cosmopolitan city, and people from all walks of life and travelers from China and around the world introduced new fashions and cultures. This paper examines maps that highlight boundaries between cultures and nations to argue that these maps provided residents and tourists alike with contested knowledge of the place, people, and cultural enterprises by translating the modern cityscape in print media. The inclusion of the International Settlement and other foreign concessions has informed our understanding of the geographical boundaries and diplomatic interactions between China and foreign countries.

本文探討十九和二十世紀初繪製的上海地圖,除了方志內刊載的地圖外,也包括市面流通的單幅手繪地圖和印刷品,及外國人繪製的實測地圖。晚清上海在創新科技、商業發展和現代新聞業的帶動下,大量地圖得以發行和複製。繪製於 1875 年《上海縣城廂租界全圖》是一重要例子,新地圖或以此為母本修訂地圖,或據此繪製新地圖,而這一地圖類型則不斷被複製發行而在市場流傳。上海自 1843 年對外開放成商埠,並發展成國際都市,吸引了來自中國和世界各地的遊客來認識各種文化和時尚新知。本文指出上述上海地圖透過印刷媒體呈現現代都市輪廓,為居民和遊客提供地理知識,揭示人、文化機構和環境的關係。此類上海地圖亦包含法租界和公共租界,這促進讀者明白中國和租界的地理邊界和外交關係。
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2021
Externally publishedYes
EventYoung Scholars' Forum in Chinese Studies 2021: Intellectual Networks and Knowledge Production: Remapping Chinese Studies - Online, Hong Kong
Duration: 27 May 202128 May 2021


ForumYoung Scholars' Forum in Chinese Studies 2021
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
Internet address


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