Historical Treaties of Southeast Asia

Birgit Tremml Werner's article "The Elephant in the Archive: Knowledge Construction and Late Eighteenth-Century Global Diplomacy" has been published in an open access format and is now available online.

The article's abstract reads as follows:

This article explores the dynamics behind global diplomacy and knowledge in Asian maritime empires in the late eighteenth century. The short-lived diplomatic exchange between the Kingdom of Mysore and the Spanish Philippines in 1776–7 provides a rich resource for an analysis of how global diplomatic agents coproduced material objects, images, and written records which in turn impacted politics and trade relations. The article makes at least four important interventions in the burgeoning field of new diplomatic history. First, it sheds light on certain aspects of growing research on Asian diplomatic encounters connecting the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia; second, it offers insights into the manifold actors involved in creating and negotiating knowledge; third, it highlights the epistemological importance of the visual and material archives for the study of global diplomacy in the early modern period; and fourth, it challenges narratives of cross-cultural foreign relations which tend to overemphasise asymmetrical and confessional explanations.