The Columns

Leyburn Library’s Author Talk Series Features David Bello

— by on February 2nd, 2016

David A. Bello, associate professor of history at Washington and Lee, will talk about his book “Across Forest Steppe and Mountain: Environment, Identity and Empire in Qing China’s Borderlands” on Feb. 16 at 4:30 p.m. in the Book Nook in W&L’s Leyburn Library.

The event is part of the University Library’s Author Talk Series and is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.

Using sources in Manchu and Chinese, Bello offers a new and radical interpretation of how China’s last dynasty, the Manchu Qing (1644-1911), managed the sustainable incorporation of its multiethnic borderland orders in Manchuria, Inner Mongolia and Yunnan within a larger ethnic Chinese imperial core.

The empire coordinated environmental relations between different groups of humans and animals, including game, livestock and malarial mosquitoes, to consolidate and expand its control of what remains China’s largest territorial expanse in its history.

Bello joined the W&L faculty in 2004. He received his B.A. from the University of Dayton, his M.A. from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.

He is the author of articles, book chapters and book reviews including “Relieving Mongols of their Pastoral Identity: The Environment of Disaster Management on the 18th Century Qing China Steppe” in Environmental History (2014); “The Cultured Nature of Imperial Foraging in Manchuria” in Late Imperial China (2010); and “To Go Where No Han Could Go for Long: Malaria and the Qing Construction of Ethnic Administrative Space in Frontier Yunnan,” Modern China (2005).