17 Nov: Looking for a place to bathe: lecture & museum visit

LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO BATHE: missed opportunities of anchoring Manchu origins in Kangxi’s Overview Maps of the Imperial Territories.

Throughout history, governments have (mis)used maps to build identity among their subjects. For Manchu khans, anchoring Manchu identity has been a struggle from the beginning. In fact, ‘being Manchu’ was a construct that only started to appear in written sources since the 1620s. The fourth khan of the Manchus, Kangxi (r.1661-1722), started to map his empire, resulting in 41 individual sheets. These Overview Maps of the Imperial Territories (Huangyu quanlan tu) presented a good opportunity of showing his people how far they had come since his great grandfather Nurhaci had attacked the Ming in 1618. Not unimportant, this project gave him the canvas to map the narrative surrounding the origin the Manchu royal lineage and its subjects, which started with three maidens wanting to bathe. The question whether the Overview maps succeeded in anchoring Manchu origins is at the centre of this lecture.

Speaker: Fresco Sam-Sin (Leiden University / Research Center for Material Culture)
followed by visit to the Mapping Asia gallery at Volkenkunde.


14:00: Lecture in Arsenaal, room 001
15:00: Walk to Mapping Asia gallery
16:36: end, followed by drinks?