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Mapping Mongolia

With its small population and low GDP, Mongolia is frequently deemed "unique" or tacked onto various area studies programs: Inner Asia, Central Asia, Northeast Asia, or Eurasia. This volume is a response to the concern that countries such as Mongolia are marginalized when academia and international diplomacy reconfigure area studies borders in the postsocialist era. Would marginalized countries such as Mongolia benefit from a reconfiguration of area studies programs or even from another way of thinking about grouping nations? This book uses Mongolia as a case study to critique the area studies methodology and test the efficacy of another grouping methodology, the "-scapes" method proposed by Arjun Appadurai. Could the application of this approach for tracing individuals' social networks by theme (finance, ethnicity, ideology, media, and technology) be applied to nation-states or peoples? Could it then prevent Mongolia from slipping through the cracks of academia and international diplomacy? Experts from ecology, genetics, archaeology, history, anthropology, and international diplomacy contemplate these issues in their chapters on Mongolia through the ages. Their work includes over 30 maps to help situate Mongolia in its geologic, geographic, economic, and cultural matrix. By comparing maps of different time periods and intellectual orientations, readers can consider for themselves the place of Mongolia in the world community and the relative benefits of these and other grouping methodologies. Content of this book's DVD-ROM may be found online at this location:
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Table of Contents

Figures Tables Contributors Foreword Preface and Acknowledgments: "-Scaping" Mongolia Theorizing Mongolia's Connections 1. General Comments on Mapping Mongolia and Mongol Studies -G. Cameron Hurst 2. "-Scaping" Mongolia -Paula L.W. Sabloff 3. Mapping and the Headless State: Rethinking National Populist Concepts of Mongolia -David Sneath 4. Is There Such a Thing as Central/Inner (Eur)Asia and Is Mongolia a Part of It? -Christopher P. Atwood Extending Beyond Current Borders 5. The Geology, Climate, and Ecology of Mongolia -Clyde E. Goulden, B. Nandintsetseg, and L. Ariuntsetseg 6. Nomadic Pastoralism in Mongolia and Beyond -Thomas Barfield 7. The Prehistory of Mongolian Populations as Revealed by Studies of Osteological, Dental, and Genetic Variation -Theodore Schurr and Lenore Pipes 8. Mapping Ritual Landscapes in Bronze Age Mongolia and Beyond: Unraveling the Deer Stone-Khirigsuur Enigma -William W. Fitzhugh and Jamsranjav Bayarsaikhan Connecting to Other Polities 9. Timescapes from the Past: An Archaeogeography of Mongolia -William Honeychurch and Chunag Amartuvshin 10. Steppe Nomads as a Philosophical Problem in Classical China -Paul R. Goldin 11. Mapping Foreign Policy Interests: Mongolia's Case -Jargalsaikhany Enkhsaikhan Index

About the Author

Paula L. W. Sabloff is Research Professor at the Santa Fe Institute and a former member of the Asian Section at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. She is the author of Modern Mongolia: Reclaiming Genghis Khan, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.


"While paying its due to established scholarship, this collection advances Mongolia studies into the modern realm of globalization. Its combination of disciplines will likely stimulate a broader assessment of Mongolia as a geographic and historical nexus. Social scientists, archaeologists, geneticists, and experts on environmental history will all find novelty in this innovative, holistic treatment of Mongolia past and present, as will students focusing on Inner Asian studies more generally."-Choice

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