Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Constructing Perry's "Chinaman" in the Context of Adorno and Benjamin

Constructing Perry's "Chinaman" in the Context of Adorno and Benjamin positions 3:2 Fall 1995 O n the second of the two voyages that marked Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s expedition to Japan (1853-54), official interpreter Samuel Wells Williams was accompanied by, in the words of the U.S. government congressional report, “a very intelligent and educated Chinaman.”’ An English translation of the journal kept by this “Chinese native” during the visit to Japan was appended to the official report, as “a specimen of the intelligence . . . and . . . the views of an Oriental, uninfluenced by the prevalent opinions of our countrymen around him.”* Like the other geological and botanical specimens collected on the voyage,3 the Chinaman’s account was an object of scientific inquiry, and was offered with an orientalist enthusiasm for local color as a footnote to the successful expansion of U.S. naval power, scientific knowledge, and commercial interests. Further references to this Chinese individual, including a surname, “Lo,” have long been available in two accounts of the expedition: the personal diary of Williams;4 and the later reconstruction by Oliver Statler, whose references to Lo are all based on Williams’s diary.5 Only in 1983 did scholars obtain the name Luo Sen,6 when Beijing University historian Wang http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions asia critique Duke University Press

Constructing Perry's "Chinaman" in the Context of Adorno and Benjamin

positions asia critique , Volume 3 (2) – Sep 1, 1995

Loading next page...
 
/lp/duke-university-press/constructing-perry-s-chinaman-in-the-context-of-adorno-and-benjamin-9z5UYNxw0n
Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 1995 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1527-8271
DOI
10.1215/10679847-3-2-329
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

positions 3:2 Fall 1995 O n the second of the two voyages that marked Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s expedition to Japan (1853-54), official interpreter Samuel Wells Williams was accompanied by, in the words of the U.S. government congressional report, “a very intelligent and educated Chinaman.”’ An English translation of the journal kept by this “Chinese native” during the visit to Japan was appended to the official report, as “a specimen of the intelligence . . . and . . . the views of an Oriental, uninfluenced by the prevalent opinions of our countrymen around him.”* Like the other geological and botanical specimens collected on the voyage,3 the Chinaman’s account was an object of scientific inquiry, and was offered with an orientalist enthusiasm for local color as a footnote to the successful expansion of U.S. naval power, scientific knowledge, and commercial interests. Further references to this Chinese individual, including a surname, “Lo,” have long been available in two accounts of the expedition: the personal diary of Williams;4 and the later reconstruction by Oliver Statler, whose references to Lo are all based on Williams’s diary.5 Only in 1983 did scholars obtain the name Luo Sen,6 when Beijing University historian Wang

Journal

positions asia critiqueDuke University Press

Published: Sep 1, 1995

There are no references for this article.