The Paper Road: Archive and Experience in the Botanical Exploration of West China and Tibet

Erik Mueggler

Published by University of California Press, 2011
ISBN 10: 0520269039 / ISBN 13: 9780520269033
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Synopsis: This exhilarating book interweaves the stories of two early twentieth-century botanists to explore the collaborative relationships each formed with Yunnan villagers in gathering botanical specimens from the borderlands between China, Tibet, and Burma. Erik Mueggler introduces Scottish botanist George Forrest, who employed Naxi adventurers in his fieldwork from 1906 until his death in 1932. We also meet American Joseph Francis Charles Rock, who, in 1924, undertook a dangerous expedition to Gansu and Tibet with the sons and nephews of Forrest’s workers. Mueggler describes how the Naxi workers and their Western employers rendered the earth into specimens, notes, maps, diaries, letters, books, photographs, and ritual manuscripts. Drawing on an ancient metaphor of the earth as a book, Mueggler provides a sustained meditation on what can be copied, translated, and revised and what can be folded back into the earth.

From the Inside Flap: “An absolutely breathtaking book -- in its thoughtfulness and imaginativeness, in the breadth and depth of the research which it entailed, in its geographical, cultural, and historical situatedness, and in its profound critical empathy for all of the key players. Beautifully and skillfully written.” – Sydney White, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Asian Studies, and Women's Studies at Temple University

"The Paper Road is an eloquent, even haunting narrative of the relationships between colonial explorers/scientists and their native collaborators that makes vivid the theme of 'colonial intimacy.' It speaks to scholars working on Chinese minorities and frontier relations, to historians of comparative colonialism, to experts on Tibet and Buddhism, and probably also simply to lovers of tales of mountains and exploration." –Charlotte Furth, Professor Emerita of Chinese History , University of Southern California.

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Title: The Paper Road: Archive and Experience in ...
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: 2011
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Good
Edition: 0.

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Published by University of California Press (2011)
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