SPECTRAL MATTER: Materiality, Economy, and Culture of Burmese Jade in Contemporary China

Projekt: Avhandling




The PhD dissertation examines intersections of material, economic and cultural aspects of carving, trade, and consumption of the gemstone jadeite (feicui 翡翠), the highest valued form of jade, in China.

The dissertation discusses 1) how jadeite is materially transformed from raw stone to carved jewellery; 2) how jadeite is traded and valued economically in its journey through different locations; and 3) cultural imaginations underpinning the demand for jadeite in contemporary China.

While the dissertation seeks to demonstrate how jadeite is employed to create economic value, and how the material manifests cultural identity and imaginations in contemporary China, some more dire consequences of the jadeite mining and trade in neighbouring Myanmar will also be discussed.

Methodologically, the project is based on interviews and ethnographic fieldwork in Myanmar (Mandalay, Myitkina, Tachileik), Thailand (Mae Sai, Chiang Mai, Bangkok), and China (Ruili, Mangshi, Yingjiang, Tengchong, Kunming, and Shanghai). The main bulk of fieldwork (10 months) has been conducted in the border town of Ruili, situated in the Dehong Prefecture of China’s Yunnan province, neighbouring Myanmar’s Shan state.
Kort titelJade
StatusEj startat