Mapping Shangrila

Contested Landscapes in the Sino-Tibetan Borderlands

by Emily T. YehChristopher R. Coggins

In 2001 the Chinese government announced that the precise location of Shangrila—a place that previously had existed only in fiction—had been identified in Zhongdian County, Yunnan. Since then, Sino-Tibetan borderlands in Yunnan, Sichuan, Gansu, Qinghai, and the Tibet Autonomous Region have been the sites of numerous state projects of tourism development and nature conservation, which have in turn attracted throngs of backpackers, environmentalists, and entrepreneurs who seek to experience, protect, and profit from the region’s landscapes.

 

Mapping Shangrila advances a view of landscapes as media of governance, representation, and resistance, examining how they are reshaping cultural economies, political ecologies of resource use, subjectivities, and interethnic relations. Chapters illuminate topics such as the role of Han and Tibetan literary representations of border landscapes in the formation of ethnic identities; the remaking of Chinese national geographic imaginaries through tourism in the Yading Nature Reserve; the role of The Nature Conservancy and other transnational environmental organizations in struggles over culture and environmental governance; the way in which matsutake mushroom and caterpillar fungus commodity chains are reshaping montane landscapes; and contestations over the changing roles of mountain deities and their mediums as both interact with increasingly intensive nature conservation and state-sponsored capitalism.

Studies on Ethnic Groups in China presents research from a wide variety of disciplines on ethnic groups and ethnic relations in China. Anthropologists, historians, geographers, political scientists, and literary scholars have contributed works on minority ethnic groups from various regions of China, as well as on the majority Han and their relationships with other groups. Works are both historical and contemporary and cover topics ranging from identity, local relations, folk literature, and religion to medicine, governance, education, and economic development. The open access editions of many of the books in this series were made possible by a grant from the Transformation Fund of the Kenneth S. and Faye G. Allen Library Endowment.

Series editor: Stevan Harrell

Metadata

  • isbn
    9780295805023
  • publisher
    University of Washington Press
  • publisher place
    Seattle, WA
  • rights
    CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
  • series title
    Studies on Ethnic Groups in China