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Whenever the writer has asked anyone within the Soviet Union as to the functions of geography, the answer has invariably been “to develop the productive resources of the state.” Geography has proceeded along the lines of Marxian theory with especial emphasis on economic problems. Thus dozens of geographers are employed in the planning commissions of the U.S.S.R. and the constituent republics. Not only should these plans be in harmony with the natural environment, they are also the geographer's instrument for periodically changing this environment. Elsewhere the emphasis is equally on the political-economic side, with especial interest in people and their welfare, working conditions, and past relations to economic feudalism and imperialism. Those aspects of geography which deal with mere description, or with fields such as geomorphology or human ecology, are regarded as intellectual luxuries which must be postponed until some future date.
The author of this article examines the role of Sinhalese Buddhist deities within the long Sinhalese tradition of using Buddhism to support political authority. Extensive contemporary information on deity territories suggests that because state political integration involves territorial integration localized deities have both reflected and been used to bring about an integration of local people into state administrative structures. However, this integration is not brought about by having the territories of the deities parallel administrative units (which they do not); it is brought about by having people think that they do, think that the territories of the gods correspond level by level to the administrative villages, districts, and provinces. As the relationship between these levels and the state has changed historically, that is, when center-hinterland integration has gone from strong to weak to strong again, people's understanding of the pantheon appears to have changed as well.
This essay examines the transformation from undifferentiated frontier to geographic region of that part of northeast Asia controversially referred to as Manchuria. This transition—from space to place, as it were—long has tended to be seen primarily in terms of the extension of colonial interests into China in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. However, as I shall argue, the invention of this place began much earlier, in the seventeenth century, and owed substantially to the efforts of China's Manchu rulers, who claimed it as their homeland, the terre natale of the Qing dynasty (1644–1912). Even as the area was joined to the larger empire, Qing emperors took care to invest what I define as “Greater Mukden” with a unique identity.
As key components of the “peculiar metaphysic of modernity,” geographers in nineteenth-century Japan began to remap the world in the name of science and “civilization” (Mitchell 1991, xii). What is often overlooked in this equation of the map with modernity, however, is Japan's history of mapmaking before the modern period. Although the earliest imperial governments in Japan practiced administrative mapmaking on a limited scale beginning in the seventh century, it was only during the reign of the Tokugawa shogunate (1603–1868) that comprehensive land surveying and mapmaking by the state were standardized and regularized. The Tokugawa ordered all daimyo to map their landholdings in 1605; these edicts were repeated numerous times, such that by the early nineteenth century the bakufu had organized five countrywide mapmaking and surveying projects, and produced from those surveys four comprehensive maps of Japan.
This essay explores the convergence of maps, mother/goddesses, and acts of martyrdom in patriotic pictures produced during the twentieth century in India in order to understand how artists pictorially transformed national territory into a tangible and enduring object deemed deserving of the bodily sacrifice of the citizenry. The archive for the essay is constituted by visualizations of Indian national territory produced by “barefoot” cartographic practice, which routinely supplemented the scientific map form of the nation with the anthropomorphic presence of Mother India. Such anthropomorphized maps, the author argues, prepared the ground pictorially for the map of the nation to receive the sacrifice of the passionate patriot.