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Blackness, Value, and the Shape of Silver “from China to Peru”
Early Modern Cosmopolitanisms Lecture
—Chi-ming Yang, University of Pennsylvania
Between 1600 and 1800 English ideologies of slavery and empire negatively associated Spanish acquisition of silver with China’s demand for it. What were the itineraries and imaginative geographies that linked Peru to China? How did visual texts and material objects aestheticize the racialized labors of silver transport and the sensory experiences of its touch, sight, weight, and sound? Bringing together numismatics, travel writing, economic treatises, and early modern drama, the talk focuses on depictions of “fugitive” metals and fugitive slaves in the setting of Panama, an East-West connector of the global silver trade.
Chi-ming Yang is Associate Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research concerns the literary and visual culture of race and empire, with a focus on East-West exchanges, as per her book,Performing China: Virtue, Commerce, and Orientalism in Eighteenth-Century England, 1660–1760 (2011). Her current project is entitled Global Chinoiserie, Atlantic Slavery, and the Matter of Surfaces.
This lecture is presented as part of Early Modern Cosmopolitanisms, a lecture series hosted by the Transnational Subjects and Early Modern Empire Working Group and sponsored by the UCLA Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies.
No registration is required.