University of Wisconsin–Madison

Friday Forum: Bradley Camp Davis

“From China to Vietnam: Trade and Ethnicity in the Nineteenth Century”

Bradley Camp Davis, Assistant Professor of History
Eastern Connecticut State University

SEPTEMBER 15, 2017
NOON-1:30 P.M.


Before the establishment of “Chinois” as a demographic category during French colonial rule, people from the Qing Empire (1644-1911) played a variety of essential roles in imperial Vietnam. Although maritime merchants from southern China connected Guangdong and other provinces to coastal Vietnam, laborers and merchants from inland China linked northern and central Vietnam to migratory networks that flowed across the borderlands. Based on work in the Vietnamese imperial archives, this presentation considers the nexus of trade and ethnicity in Southeast Asia before European colonialism, demonstrating that “Chinese,” as a unified category, fails to capture the sophisticated negotiations at the center of Chinese circulations in nineteenth century Vietnam.