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New book by Prof. McDonald!

bookcover of Kate McDonald's Placing Empire Travel and the Social Imagination in Imperial Japan

We are happy to announce that Prof. Kate McDonald’s new book, Placing Empire: Travel and the Social Imagination in Imperial Japan is now available in paperback and ebook from UC Press.

Placing Empire examines the spatial politics of Japanese imperialism through a study of Japanese travel and tourism to Korea, Manchuria, and Taiwan between the late nineteenth century and the early 1950s. The post-World War I transition from empire as a project of territorial acquisition to empire as a project of territorial maintenance presented a dilemma to colonial empires around the globe: how to maintain colonized lands as places that were both legitimately a part of the nation’s land yet somehow also apart from the nation. McDonald skillfully weaves together a wide-ranging history of the political conflicts that shaped Japanese travelers’ representations and experiences of Korea, Manchuria, and Taiwan to demonstrate how, across the empire, the rise of anti-imperial nationalism and liberal internationalism forced travelers to rethink the relationship between the nation and its land. From a geography of civilization, which imagined that colonized lands would soon be Japanified, to a geography of cultural pluralism, which taught imperial travelers to appreciate the differences between the empire’s diverse cultural regions, the book illuminates how ideas of place played a central role in the production of forms of colonial difference that were suitable to a post-imperial world.