In the many years since I started this project, I have benefited from the advice, wisdom, and encouragement of many people, and it is now my pleasure to acknowledge them. First, I must thank Beatrice S. Bartlett for drawing me into the world of eighteenth-century China and inspiring me to explore the uncharted landscapes of Guizhou. Thanks are also due to Jonathan Spence, James C. Scott, John Faragher, Annping Chin, and Jonathan Lipman, whose work inspired many of the theories examined here, and to the late Hugh Stimson for his instruction in literary Chinese.
This book would not have been possible without support and encouragement from my students and colleagues in the Department of History at the College of New Jersey. I wish to express my gratitude to the department chair, Professor Celia Chazelle, for creating such a welcoming place to teach. I also wish to thank the current and former students who have contributed to this book in more ways than they can image. I hope they will enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed crafting it. I am especially grateful to Professor Daniel Crofts for his comments on successive drafts of the manuscript, and for our many fruitful conversations about Guizhou history. Professor Cynthia Paces also offered much encouragement during the final weeks of revision and pointed me toward a fine cartographer in Bill Nelson. Special thanks must also go to Megan Tavares for her assistance with the technical aspects of manuscript and CD preparation, and to the staff at the TCNJ Library for accommodating my numerous interlibrary loan requests.
My research received generous funding from a variety of sources. The Yale Council on International Studies provided a grant to support research in Yunnan and Guizhou. Grants from the Yale Council on East Asian Studies and an Enders Grant from the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences financed my research in Taiwan’s Palace Museum. A Fulbright Grant administered through the Institute of International Education supported eleven months of research in Beijing and Guizhou. In subsequent years, I received support from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation and from an East Asian Studies Prize Fellowship provided by the Yale Council on East Asian Studies. I wish to thank all those who reviewed my work and awarded these grants. Special thanks must also go to James Millward and Robert Jenks for commenting on my East Asian Studies Prize Fellowship proposal, and to Abbey Newman for administering the grant. In addition, I wish to record my gratitude to the Association for Asian Studies for providing a subvention to support the publication of this book.
I am also indebted to a number of people in China and Taiwan for their assistance. In Kunming, I received a warm welcome and much support from Professor Lin Chaomin of the Yunnan University History Department and his students. My research at the Taipei Palace Museum was greatly facilitated by museum director, Ch’in Hsiao-i, the library director Wang Ching-hung, Chuang Chi-fa, and the entire library staff. In Beijing, I received guidance from Professor Cheng Chongde of the Institute of Qing Studies at People’s University. Also in Beijing, Zhu Shuyuan, Li Jing, and other members of the staff at the Number One Historical Archives offered advice and assistance. Professor Zhou Guoyan of the Central Minorities University in Beijing provided many hard-to-find books and journals on the Buyi ethnic group. I am also grateful to Dan St. Rossy, formerly of the Education Section at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, for his logistical support and hospitality. In Guiyang, Professor Weng Jialie of the Guizhou Minority Nationalities Research Institute supplied background information on the history of that province and opened his home to me. Invaluable help and support also came from Professor Yang Shaoxin of the History Department at Guizhou Normal University, from his student Li Yuanpeng, who served as my tireless guide on the long trip from Guiyang to Xingyi and back, and from the staff of the rare books collection at the Guizhou Provincial Library.
Over the years, Yong Xue, Shou-chih Yan, Jacob Whittaker, Charles McKhann, James Z. Lee, John Herman, David Bello, C. Patterson Giersch, David Atwill, Jean Michaud, Sarah Turner, Christine Bonnin, John Kelley, Candice Cornet, and Kenneth Pomeranz have all offered suggestions on the work in progress. Yu Luo’s many insights on Buyi history, culture, and religion proved invaluable throughout the revision process, as did Beatrice Kwok’s comments on early drafts of Chapters 2 and 5. I am also grateful to Alice Davenport for her careful copyediting and her many helpful suggestions, and to Roberta Engleman for her expert work in compiling the index. Finally, I thank Lorri Hagman, Stevan Harrell, Marilyn Trueblood, Jacqueline Volin, Beth Fuget, Rachael Levay, and Tim Zimmermann of the University of Washington Press for their confidence in my work and for their detailed feedback and patient guidance throughout the review, revision, and production process.
This work would not have been possible without my family and friends. My husband, Rob Barrish, has traveled this long journey alongside me with patience, good humor, and kindness, cheering me on when I needed it most. My parents, Stephen and Felice Weinstein, have also offered unflagging support, and I am thankful to them for instilling in me a lifelong desire to read, learn, and explore the world. Warm encouragement also came from my in-laws, Gil and Lois Barrish, from my brothers and sisters-in-law, from Dr. Eliana Perrin and her family, and from my training partners on the Jersey Area and Princeton Area Masters swim teams. My cats, Cougar and Ketzel, bemusedly observed the entire endeavor. To all, I am grateful.