February 19, 2020

Invited talk “How Weapons Cross Borders”

In 1592, Japan invaded Korea and initiated the Imjin War, a large-scale conflict which would eventually trigger Chinese military intervention. During the war, Zhao Shizhen, a relatively minor civil official in Beijing, started advocating Ottoman-derived muskets as a core military technological solution for the Japanese menace. These had arrived many decades before as part of an ostensibly Ottoman diplomatic mission to the Chinese Ming Empire. Why were these weapons brought to China, and for what reasons did they take so long to get acknowledged as important assets? Through the lens of state securitization, Dr. Barend Noordam, postdoctoral researcher on the Aftermath Project, will present a tentative explanation for this course of events. “How Weapons Cross Borders: The Transfer of the Musket to China as a Consequence of Ottoman-Portuguese Geopolitical Rivalry” will be presented at the Interdisciplinary Conference: Freedom and Border-Making in the Early Modern World, held at the University of Bonn on 27 and 28 February.

The program can be downloaded here.