Organized Panel Session
Building on the recent scholarship that has highlighted the critical role the frontiers played in modern East Asia, this panel revisits the significance of knowledge about the East Asian frontiers through the lens of individual travelers from within the region. While previous studies primarily analyzed the experiences of European travelers, this panel focuses on those of intraregional travelers and asks how their prior knowledge of the East Asian frontiers shaped their encounters with the landscape, society, and natural resources of the frontier regions. Masato Hasegawa shows how Korean envoys’ topographical depictions of the Qing-Chosǒn borderland was closely linked to their political and cultural identity. Huiying Chen discusses inland residents’ travels to Qing frontiers and demonstrates how their observations reflected experiences and frustration in their native places. Huang Fei examines the transformation of knowledge about water resources in modern China and assesses the processes through which hot springs emerged as a material and cultural commodity and as a destination for those who sought escape from the urban environment. Together, the papers in this panel collectively explore the manner in which the boundaries of knowledge were drawn, negotiated, and re-defined through the physical act of traveling to the frontiers in modern East Asia.