Excursions to China in U.S. Culture, 1776-1876
John Rogers Haddad's analytically rich and methodologically complex work attends to various appearances of Chinese culture in America throughout the nineteenth century. Through a close examination of museums, panoramic paintings, blue and white ceramics, tea advertisements, travelogues, missionary accounts, children's literature, and world fairs, Haddad counters the idea that imperialist domination and racial prejudice eclipsed cultural exchange between Asia and the West during this period.
Americans who journeyed to China tended to acquire a degree of respect and admiration for the complex civilization they encountered. Upon returning to the United States, they assembled displays, shows, books, and other cultural forms designed to share their knowledge with ordinary Americans. Haddad's research also reveals the surprising fact that the Chinese played a large but subtle role in shaping the representation of their culture in the United States. Far from being passive, the Chinese exerted substantial control over China's exported image.
Haddad's fascinating study reveals how the Unites States, then the newest country in the world, first became acquainted with China, the oldest nation. With the ongoing rise and increased relevance of China on today's global stage, this volume provides invaluable insight into how these two nations might get to know each other again in the twenty-first century.
This is an absorbing, insightful, and highly readable work that enriches our understanding of early US-China relations.
AcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. Xanadu: An Envoy at the Throne of a Monarch2. Romantic Domesticity: A Chinese World Invented at Home3. Pursuing the China Effect: A Country Described through Marketing4. China in Miniature: Nathan Dunn's Chinese Museum5. A Floating Ethnolocy: The Strange Voyage of the ChineseJunk Keying6. God's China: The Middle Kingdom of Samuel Wells Williams7. The Cultural Fruits of Diplomacy: A Chinese Museum and Panorama8. The Ugly Face of China: Beyond Taylor's Travels in Asia9. Traditional China and Chinese Yankees: The Centennial Exposition of 1876ConclusionBibliography