Frontier Vision: The Geopolitics of Seeing China’s Borderlands


Luce/ACLS Early Career Fellowships in China Studies – Flexible


Film and Media


This ongoing book project examines the crucial role of visuality in imagining and shaping China’s frontier environments and their political promises. The project approaches the term “frontier” not as a ready-made geographical and ecological border space, but reframes it as a cultural, political, and above all, visual logic of territory-making that has mutated from the mid-twentieth century to today. Drawing on a wide range of textual records, including geo-survey reports, news stories, construction blueprints, popular science readers, and visual materials—fiction and non-fiction films, tv documentaries, digital video, and satellite images—the book argues that China’s political aspirations are actualized through and, at times, challenged by “frontier vision.”