They Came From Everywhere: The People of the Amur

Colloquium: Center for Chinese Studies: Center for Korean Studies: Institute of East Asian Studies: Mongolia Initiative | November 20 | 4 p.m. | 180 Doe Library

 Victor Zatsepine, History, University of Connecticut

 Institute of East Asian Studies (IEAS), UC Berkeley Mongolia Initiative, Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ISEEES)

This talk, based on Victor Zatsepine’s recently published book, Beyond the Amur: Frontier Encounters between China and Russia, 1850-1930 (UBC Press, 2017), illuminates the varied social, economic and political contacts that enlivened the borders of the two empires (Qing China and Romanov Russia) and their successor states. The author argues that the Amur ‘frontier’ region functioned as a meeting place between empires, shaped by migration, settlement and trade networks, where different cultures (Chinese, Indigenous, Korean, Manchu, Mongol, Russian) learned and borrowed from each other. This talk discusses the unique evolution of local society and how the physical environment affected people living there, their habits, occupations and economic activities. Beyond the Amur adds a modern socio-economic dimension to predominantly ideological histories of Sino-Russian relations through analysis of the roles of migration, railways, urban development, and wars in shaping the frontier region. Moderated by Franck Bille, Program Director, Tang Center for Silk Road Studies.

Dr. Victor Zatsepine is an assistant professor in the history department of the University of Connecticut. He holds degrees from Beijing Language and Culture University, Harvard and the University of British Columbia, and specializes in China’s frontier and international history. Prior to joining the UConn, he was a research assistant professor at the Hong Kong University. Among his recent publications is a volume, co-edited with Laura Victoir, Harbin to Hanoi: The Colonial Built Environment in Asia, 1840 to 1940 (HKU Press, 2013).

 ieas@berkeley.edu, 510-643-6492