East Asia beyond the Archives

Missing sources and marginal voices

Editor: Catherine S. Chan and Tsang Wing Ma

About this book

For a long time, silk, tea, sinocentrism, and eurocentrism made up a big patch of East Asian history. Simultaneously deviating from and complicating these tags, this edited volume reconstructs narratives from the periphery and considers marginal voices located beyond official archives as the centre of East Asian history. The lives of the Japanese Buddhist monks, Eastern Han local governors, Confucian scholars, Chinese coolies, Shanghainese tailors, Macau joss-stick makers, Hong Long locals, and Cantonese working-class musicians featured in this collection provide us with a glimpse of how East Asia’s inhabitants braved, with versatility, the ripples of political centralization, cross-border movement, foreign imperialism, nationalism, and globalism that sprouted locally and universally. Demonstrating the rich texture of sources discovered through non-official pathways, the ten essays in this volume ultimately reveal the timeless interconnectedness of East Asia and the complex, non-uniform worldviews of its inhabitants.


Catherine S. Chan is Research Assistant Professor of History at Lingnan University. She has published extensively on trans-imperial networks and the Macanese diaspora across East Asia. Chan also works on urban history, particularly on heritage issues and animal welfare in East and Southeast Asia.

Tsang Wing Ma is Assistant Professor of Chinese History at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. His research interests are centered on early China, with a focus on Qin-Han institutional and social history, as well as excavated manuscripts.

Format: Hardback

Pages: 265

Illustrated: Black and White

ISBN Print: 9789087284244

ISBN ePUB: 9789400604674

Published: 19 December 2023

Language: English

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