Organized Panel Session
This panel explores the central role of visual culture in shaping debates and policies around agricultural production in modern Asia. Nineteenth- and twentieth-century Asia underwent massive agricultural upheavals, instability, and reforms, from the imperialist famines of the late nineteenth century, to state-sponsored subsistence and relief programs, to the impact of international markets on colonial and national agricultural development. These circumstances required the development of new designs and technologies to manage, store and distribute staple and cash crops, and engendered architectural structures that announced new agrarian orders. Additionally, advertisements and representations in prints and photographs served to espouse or critique agricultural policies and their underlying ideologies, or to imagine new ones not yet developed. This panel seeks to address how land and agriculture have been visualized in modern Asia, and more specifically, how visual culture has been central in shaping and conveying both agricultural policy and public responses to it.