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This chapter describes and analyzes the contemporary map of Paraguay, based on its most representative cultural experiences, including that of the Taller Manuel Ortiz Guerrero poets, from which tangara poetry emerges; the poetic work of Jorge Canese, spearhead of several experimentations of current literature; the narrative in Guarani language, of which we choose the novel Kalaíto Pombéro by Tadeo Zarratea (1981) as pivot; and the frontier cartography following the narrative of Damián Cabrera. The democratization process of the Paraguayan society, which started in the 1980s, assures suitable conditions for the publication and dissemination of literature and accompanies the emergence of new aesthetics. The tangara poetry, initiated with the book Tangara tangara (1985) by Ramón Silva, expands the range of Guaraní poetry toward radically different forms compared to the traditional forms. Further, Paraguayan Guarani literature becomes more complex with the jopara, which debuts as a literary language with Ramona Quebranto (1989) by Margot Ayala, and with the display of Guarani narrative. Finally, we find hybridizations used by several authors attempting to reshape their literary language, such as interactions with Portuguese, enhancing a literary and cultural area in the Triple Frontier. These changes turn twenty-first-century Paraguayan literature into a map of high indetermination.
China's west has long been framed as an undeveloped frontier, set apart by poverty and a resource-based economy. Since the 2000s, however, utility-scale renewable energy infrastructure has expanded rapidly in western China, promising local economic benefits tied to national low-carbon transition. This paper contends that these benefits have been precarious and unevenly distributed. I argue that utility-scale renewable energy has remade western China as a “low-carbon frontier,” a resource-rich region that generates low-carbon value for the national green economy. I highlight three features of low-carbon frontiers: they are constructed as spaces of exploitable low-carbon resources, creating an investment boom; they are enclosed through new land arrangements and infrastructure construction, rapidly and with little coordination; and they are reliant on external markets and policy decisions, entrenching dependency. These conditions make it difficult for frontier regions to capture sustained economic development benefits from the boom in the absence of persistent central state supports. I analyse these features by comparing two sets of technologies with similar, but ultimately diverging, trajectories: small and large hydropower in China's south-west, and solar and wind in the north-west.
Recent research projects, publications, and above all the results of developer-funded archaeology provide materials for a re-assessment of the impact of Hadrian's Wall on the indigenous peoples whose lands it transected. Previous analysis has been concerned with the greater or lesser degree of ‘Romanisation’ of an Iron Age society perceived as little changed under Roman rule, with the Wall seen as a bureaucratic border running through an homogeneous frontier zone, as described by C.R. Whittaker. Although the local settlement pattern survived the original Flavian conquest of the region intact, it is now apparent that the building of the Wall under Hadrian had profound and far from benign consequences for local people. To the north of the barrier the traditional settlement pattern was largely abandoned and new social authorities emerged, while to the south there is evidence for new economic structures imposed from outside and the settlement of immigrants. The paper considers the extent to which these developments were the outcome of conscious policies by the Roman authorities.
The book finishes with an epilogue that shows how examining encounters in the deep interior helps to further contextualise one of the most well-known episodes in coastal East Africa’s nineteenth-century history, namely the urban riots of 1888 and the subsequent outbreak of the Abushiri Rebellion (1888–90). Far from being an unimportant periphery, Lake Tanganyika was key a frontier zone of the Indian Ocean World during the nineteenth century, the conditions in which affected the broader trajectory the wider Indian Ocean World’s history, especially the history of the East African coast.
This introductory chapter explores links between Lake Tanganyika, East Africa, and the wider Indian Ocean World in history and historiography. It does so firstly by stressing the peculiarities of Lake Tanganyika’s shape and environment in the East African context. It then draws on a wider historiography of lakes and oceans in world history, and it argues that doing so necessitates taking on perspectives from the wider Indian Ocean World. But, far from being a place where patterns from the wider Indian Ocean World replicated themselves, Lake Tanganyika was a ‘frontier’ where phenomena traditionally associated with the macro-region (including e.g. Islam, boating technologies, and fashions) were negotiated and reimagined in particularly robust ways. This applies especially to the period c.1830–90, during which coastal and Great Lakes populations encountered each other in significant numbers for the first time, caused by the expansion of the global ivory trade.
This is the first interdisciplinary history of Lake Tanganyika and of eastern Africa's relationship with the wider Indian Ocean World during the nineteenth century. Philip Gooding deploys diverse source materials, including oral, climatological, anthropological, and archaeological sources, to ground interpretations of the better-known, European-authored archive in local epistemologies and understandings of the past. Gooding shows that Lake Tanganyika's shape, location, and distinctive lacustrine environment contributed to phenomena traditionally associated with the history of the wider Indian Ocean World being negotiated, contested, and re-imagined in particularly robust ways. He adds novel contributions to African and Indian Ocean histories of urbanism, the environment, spirituality, kinship, commerce, consumption, material culture, bondage, slavery, Islam, and capitalism. African peoples and environments are positioned as central to the histories of global economies, religions, and cultures.
The Introduction provides an overview of the themes and arguments of the book. It first situates this book within the larger literature on foreign banks in modern China, the history of globalization and the history of international and multinational banking. It then presents the ‘frontier bank’ and the Chinese frontier as a conceptual framework for understanding the activities of foreign banks in modern China. Then it introduces the four main themes of the book: financial internationalization, transnational networks, the conflict between nationalism and economic globalization, and risk. Finally, the Introduction discusses how this book fits into larger discussions about modern China’s relations with the global economy, modern Chinese economic development and economic globalization. The Introduction concludes with an overview of the book’s chapters.
In Chapter 4, the book turns to the involvement of foreign bankers and financiers in Chinese railway development during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In particular, the chapter focusses on the loan negotiations for the financing of the railway connecting Tianjin in northern China and Pukou in China’s south between 1898 and 1910. These loan negotiations were mainly undertaken by representatives of German and British financial groups in China and Chinese officials. By exploring the interaction between these foreign and Chinese negotiators, the chapter highlights the important role the ’contact zone’ and transnational networks played on the Chinese frontier in the foreign financing of Chinese railways. The chapter also shows how Chinese negotiators exhibited substantial agency within such transnational networks and were able to win very favourable loan terms. More generally, the chapter shows how these transnational financial networks reflected the development of financial globalization during the early twentieth century, connecting local officials in China with markets and individual investors in Europe.
This chapter surveys the histories behind differentiation in colonial governance, rooted in the politics of colonial conquest from the middle of the eighteenth century until the middle of the nineteenth century. It begins with an explanation of the East India Company as a mercantile enterprise with few commitments in the governance of India. Challenges to the Company’s trading prerogatives led to the conquest of eastern and northern India, yet the illegibility of indigenous society and fears of peasant rebellion fashioned governance arrangements which empowered proprietary elites, who served as key intermediares between the colonial state and society. In much of southern, central and western India, however, threats to the colonial enterprise from indigenous state-building projects, like Mysore and the Maratha confederacy, led to significant conflict and a variety of different arrangements: significant state intervention into rural society and relations with cultivators, as well as the affirmation of different types of princely states. The chapter concludes with the extremes of state presence and absence: in metropolizes and in political agencies on the frontier of state authority.
From the very beginning of the transatlantic slave trade and the rise of racial hierarchies, people of African descent advocated for particular forms of conduct and assimilation as a means to alleviate their oppression. As such, respectability rhetoric – discussions about Black African character and comportment – appear in the earliest literature written by and about Black Africans in the Americas. These discussions about respectability evolved over time and were shaped by sociopolitical phenomena such as European expansion into the Americas and invasive colonization, the Enlightenment Movement, the Revolutionary War, the Great Awakening, and developing racial ideologies. What is more, a preoccupation with respectability among Black Africans led to transformations in the Black life writings and poetry that first emerged in the eighteenth century and evolved into the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This chapter examines the extent to which respectability as an idea and coping strategy fueled transitions in the earliest African American literature.
Bad Day at Black Rock is a Western set just after the end of World War II. The desert town of Black Rock, teetering on the edges of both a failed frontier and postwar disillusionment, was once home to a Japanese American man named Komako. At Black Rock, Komako had found water where others had failed – and water is worth killing for. After murdering Komako and burying him beside his well, Black Rock masks the deed by claiming Komako had been “shipped off” to an incarceration camp during the war. Examining the layered machinations at play in Black Rock's lie, this chapter turns to earth: it reads the landscape as a vital surround through which Komako and the incarceration of Japanese Americans physically and hauntingly manifest at Black Rock. It links the Western and the West to narratives of Japanese American incarceration, both bound to the settler colonial impulse that seeks to consolidate US power and authority over land, water, and people in the West. Simultaneously indebted to ecocriticism and comparative race studies, this chapter explores the ways Black Rock’s Hollywood Western becomes an incarceration tale – which in turn becomes a narrative of settler colonial eco-imperialism.
This chapter surveys the archaeological evidence for the period of the settlement of Brittany from Britain. The absorption of the Armorican peninsula into the land-based Roman Empire in the first century BC ended its long-standing role in prehistory as an important bridge for trade and cultural communication between the Atlantic Archipelago and the Continent. It was further marginalised by the concentration of resources in frontier zones under the late Empire. However, the political and economic decline of late-Roman Armorica was apparently gradual, in contrast with the sudden disruption of the relatively prosperous lowland zone of Britain in the early fifth century. Differences such as these may partly explain the absence of direct archaeological evidence for migration. The absence from Brittany of the high-status material culture seen in Britain outside the zone of English settlement in the fifth to seventh centuries (hill-forts, decorated metalwork, imported pottery) may reflect Brittany’s relative poverty but also the extreme diffusion of political power there, and a lesser degree of conflict. More modest, newly discovered archaeological evidence indicates Brittany’s continued connections to the wider world of north-western Europe in more basic developments in agriculture and rural settlement forms.
Vagrants were everywhere in Victorian culture. They wandered through novels and newspapers, photographs, poems and periodicals, oil paintings and illustrations. They appeared in a variety of forms in a variety of places: Gypsies and hawkers tramped the country, casual paupers and loafers lingered in the city, and vagabonds and beachcombers roved the colonial frontiers. Uncovering the rich Victorian taxonomy of nineteenth-century vagrancy for the first time, this interdisciplinary study examines how assumptions about class, gender, race and environment shaped a series of distinct vagrant types. At the same time it broaches new ground by demonstrating that rural and urban conceptions of vagrancy were repurposed in colonial contexts. Representational strategies circulated globally as well as locally, and were used to articulate shifting fantasies and anxieties about mobility, poverty and homelessness. These are traced through an extensive corpus of canonical, ephemeral and popular texts as well as a variety of visual forms.
Chapter 2 leaves the rural rainforests of the northern Pacific lowlands for its two small urban frontier towns: Nóvita—the capital of Chocó before independence—and Quibdó—the capital of Chocó afterward—where the majority population of white slaveholders and mineowners lived alongside the entrepreneurial merchants from Jamaica, France, and Italy who began to settle in the Pacific lowlands after independence. Based on tax records, wills, travelogues, and other archival sources, this chapter offers a door-to-door geography of Quibdó after the Wars of Independence and explores the small-scale slaveholding central to its households. Despite slavery’s slow destruction under gradual emancipation rule, the local trade in slaves and Free Womb children paradoxically remained as active as ever in Chocó well into the 1830s and 1840s.
Relations between states are usually framed in human terms, from partners to rivals, enemies or allies, polities and persons appear to engage in cognate relationships. Yet whether or not official ties and relationships among people from those states actually correspond remains less clear. “Friendship,” a term first applied to states in eighteenth-century Europe and mobilized in the (post)socialist world since the 1930s, articulates with particular clarity both the promise and the limitations of harmonized personal and state ties. Understandings of friendship vary interculturally, and invocations of state-state friendship may be accompanied by a distinct lack of amity among populations. Such is the case between China and Russia today, and this situation therefore raises wider questions over how we should understand interstate and interpersonal relationships together. Existing social scientific work has generally failed to locate either the everyday in the international or the international in the everyday. Focusing on both Chinese and Russian approaches to daily interactions in a border town and the official Sino-Russian Friendship, I thus suggest a new scalar approach. Applying this to the Sino-Russian case in turn reveals how specific contours of “difference” form a pivot around which relationships at both scales operate. This study thus offers both comparison between Chinese and Russian friendships, and a lens for wider comparative work in a global era of shifting geopolitics and cross-border encounters.
Edmund Wilson’s famous critique that Steinbeck’s stories are “almost entirely about plants and animals” is tackled in this chapter, which argues that Steinbeck’s attention to the inner life of nonhuman animals represents a radical rethinking of humanity’s claims to privilege as a species. Focusing on Steinbeck’s representation of human and animal characters in The Red Pony--in particular his ascription of interiority to animals and his reduction of humans to pure behavior--I argue that Steinbeck’s work approaches a post-human ethical pluralism that defines humans according to their fallibility and cognitive deficits. However, Steinbeck’s exploration of the human-animal connection becomes more complex when we examine the relationship between the separate stories of The Red Pony, which interweave tales about animals with stories about the Western frontier. Once again, Steinbeck’s biological focus on humans as a species becomes caught up in problems of race that leave unchallenged a mythic ideology of the West, one that disguises the racial slaughter undergirding the animalistic emergence of white identity.
Chatper 5 examines the growing influence of the papal Congregation of the Propaganda Fide in the administration of the Custody after 1622. It argues that its intervention reflects the importance given to the Holy Land as both a frontier, and spiritual center, of an increasingly global Catholic tradition.
The twentieth century dawned on a regional, southern-based African American community on the verge of diasporic national change. Decades before the Great Urban Migration, Black individuals had migrated west as homesteaders, cowboys, soldiers, and town-builders, participating in the project of Manifest Destiny. But by the early 1900s, the “frontier” was receding into the realms of myth and memory, and white writers such as Frederick Jackson Turner, Theodore Roosevelt, and Owen Wister wondered what would become of American manhood once the “Wild West” disappeared in the new, industrializing order. Black male writers, who had themselves sought to establish masculine credentials by joining frontier conquest, wondered too. Nat Love, a former slave turned ranch hand, and Oscar Micheaux, a farmer turned filmmaker, recorded their experiences, respectively, in their memoirs The Life and Adventures of Nat Love and The Conquest. In their writings can be seen the literary tension between the “Wild West” of violence and savagery and the “agrarian West” being settled by farmers and ethnic groups from across the world.
Located immediately north of Hong Kong, Shenzhen is China's most successful special economic zone (SEZ). Commonly known as the “social laboratory” of reform and opening, Shenzhen was the foremost frontier for the People's Republic of China's adoption of market principles and entrance into the world economy in the late 1970s. This article looks at prototypes of the SEZ in Bao'an County, the precursor to Shenzhen during the Mao era (1949–76). Between 1949 and 1978, Bao'an was a liminal space where state endeavors to establish a socialist economy were challenged by capitalist influences from the adjacent British Crown colony of Hong Kong. To create an enclave of exception to socialism, Communist cadres in Bao'an promoted individualized, duty-free cross-border trade and informal foreign investment schemes as early as 1961. Although beholden to the inward-looking planned economy and stymied by radical leftist campaigns, these local improvisations formed the foundation for the SEZ—the hallmark of Deng Xiaoping's economic statecraft.
As rising seas, spreading wildfires, and unbearable heat shrink the expanse of the habitable earth, the prospect of a contracting world resonates in particular and forceful ways within the American imaginary. Recent American climate fiction responds to the specter of a shrinking world by reprising narratives of the American frontier, simultaneously unsettling and reanimating elements of these stories. This chapter pays attention to stories of neo-agrarian settlements, depictions of internal displacements and migrations, and portrayals of corporate collapse in the wake of dwindling carbon economies. It argues that American climate fiction can run retrograde, reiterating the very seizures of land and political suppressions that underwrote the American frontier. However, the radical environmental changes envisioned in this genre also intensify ongoing struggles for racial and economic justice in the United States, opening the possibility of more equitable forms of relation. Although the climatic future is often depicted as a brave new world, an unknown terrain, climate narratives must acknowledge rather than subsume history: A changed world must not be mistaken for a wholly new one.