Conférence : “Fernand Braudel’s “Méditerranée” and the maritime history of East Asia”, 4 avril 2013



 Mathieu TORCK (Université de Gand, Belgique) donnera une conférence intitulée

“Fernand Braudel’s “Méditerranée” and the maritime history of East Asia”

le jeudi 4 avril 2013


Studies on Chinese maritime history both in and outside China have a long tradition going back to Liang Qichao’s pioneering writings on Zheng He’s expeditions and Joseph Needham’s groundbreaking encyclopedic endeavor to name just two highlights. Maritime history has through the years benefited from the application of useful models. With its focus on the interconnectedness between coasts and hinterland and the idea of the longue durée, Fernand Braudel’s model of the Mediterranean has proven its relevance for the study of the (East) Asian seas (Braudel, 1949). In this lecture I will first provide a general outline of pre-modern maritime activities in and around China and assess the characteristics of China as a seagoing East Asian power of the pre-modern and early modern era.


Subsequently, I will review how current scholars of East Asian seafaring history integrate Braudel’s “Mediterranée” in their methodology and evaluate the adaptability of the model to the East Asian case. Finally, an outlook on future research perspectives will be attempted. Dr. Mathieu Torck is teaching and research assistant at the Department of Chinese Language and Culture of Ghent University. He teaches Chinese language and a number of research courses at bachelor and master level.


Torck wrote his Ph.D-dissertation as an East Asian chapter of the history of scurvy. Together with Ann Heirman, he has recently finished a book on bodily hygiene in Chinese Buddhist monastic contexts of the first millennium. He has a broad range of interests going from cross-cultural transfer of knowledge and technology, material culture, naval and military history to historical epidemiology, medical anthropology and culinary studies.


Source : Institut Confucius


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