Mimi Cheng F'21

Mimi  Cheng
Doctoral Candidate
Art and Art History
University of Rochester

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2021
Doctoral Candidate
Art and Art History
University of Rochester
China on the Horizon: German Orientalism and the Colonial Built Environment, 1860-1914

This project examines the visual economy of German orientalism as it took form in the built environment in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It argues that orientalism was not just expressed as an artistic style, but experienced in modern infrastructure and planning. Beginning by assembling and analyzing maps, photographs, and drawings produced by German cartographers, engineers, and historians of China’s landscape and coastlines, the project proceeds to examine the development of Jiaozhou, the coastal territory occupied by the German Empire for sixteen years beginning in 1897. By tracing the contours of the imperial apparatus, China on the Horizon intervenes in historical and architectural scholarship on colonialism in East Asia as well as cultural constructions of “Asia” and “the Orient” in the West.