In 1904, French explorer and author Alfred Raquez embarked on a year-long ethnographic mission through Laos to collect material for the 1906 Colonial Exposition in Marseille. He published his notes in L’Avenir du Tonkin and its sister publication La Revue Indochinoise, and took hundreds of photos, many of which are still collected as postcards, and made hundreds of phonograph rolls of field recordings, which are now lost.
I am very pleased that my article on Mission Raquez has been published in the prominent peer-reviewed journal History and Anthropolgy, published by Taylor and Francis, and listed in all sorts of spiffy neat-o international humanities indexes.
Here is the abstract:
This paper focuses on Mission Raquez, a French ethnographic expedition through Laos to collect material for the Marseille Colonial Exposition of 1906. This paper discusses the location of extant material and considers the ethnographic methods used on the mission in conjunction with anthropological study, mass media, and popular celebrity in turn of the century France.
You can access the article at this permalink:
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A positive and perceptive new review for our translation of Alfred Raquez’s In the Land of Pagodas has been published at NewBooks Asia. Check it out here: https://newbooks.asia/review/faces-unknown
“The quality of the translation is excellent and includes an abundance of well-researched footnotes as well, which certainly facilitate the understanding of Raquez’s French references, making it easier for the reader to follow the rich, but at times confusing, narration without major difficulties.”
Buy our book here http://www.niaspress.dk/books/land-pagodas
Our excellent friend the superb Indonesian artist Sheila has completed the image for the cover of our upcoming translation of Alfred Raquez’s book of travel through Laos in 1900, Pages Laotiennes, to be published this year in a two volume set by NIAS Press as Laotian Pages.
The image uses Raquez’s postcard of Sao Si, one of the Laotian performers he brought to Marseille for the 1906 Colonial Exposition.
The building is based on the library at Wat Si Saket in Vientiane, which also was the model for the Laos Pavilion in Marseille in 1906 (see below).
The pattern on the woman’s sinh (the scarf) is based on a traditional textile pattern from Laos.
Amazing job, thank you Sheila!
Awhile back, the website China Underground interviewed Paul and myself about our translation of In the Land of Pagodas (find it here: https://drgblogsupreme.wordpress.com/2017/04/17/interview-with-wlg-and-pb-on-china-underground/
Now the good folks at China Undergound have included that interview in their new digital magazine, which can be downloaded here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/14UfbS2wQ813BG87G0UPtkAr2FR0lQ9oU/view
Get it, dig it, feel it…then buy the book!
I am very pleased that my article and translations with Paul Bruthiaux of Alfred Raquez’s travels in Java are now published at Archipel, the leading journal in the field.
“Archipel is a journal of interdisciplinary studies on Insulindia (Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Timor-Leste), established in 1971, with a particular attention given to humanities.”
Check that out here: http://archipel.revues.org/452#authors
Read an excerpt of the translation that was published in Indonesia Expat magazine awhile back, here: https://drgblogsupreme.wordpress.com/2017/03/09/alfred-raquez-in-java/
Another fantastic review of In the Land of Pagodas…this one from at the Asian Review of Books.
Buy the book here: http://www.niaspress.dk/books/land-pagodas
Esoteric, you betcha! Here’s the brief but positive review of our translation of Alfred Raquez’s Au Pays des Pagodes from the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Hong Kong….
In the Land of Pagodas: A Classic Account of Travel in Hong Kong, Macao,
Shanghai, Hubei, Hunan and Guizhou by Alfred Raquez edited and
translated by William L. Gibson and Paul Bruthiaux
Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2017, 530 pages with 5 maps and 56 b/w
illustrations. HB ISBN: 978-87-7694-201-4, US$90; PB ISBN: 978-87-
(Reviewed by Colin Day)
This translation published by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies is
provided with a substantial introduction that tells us the material in the book
was originally published serially in 1898-99 in L’Echo de Chine: Journal des
Intérêts Français en Extrème-Orient, a weekly newspaper published in Shanghai.
It also tells us that the author using the pseudonym ‘Alfred Raquez’ was in
fact Joseph Gervais, a bankrupt, reprobate lawyer with a warrant out for his
arrest, who had fled France for the Far East in March 1898. Perhaps, with
such an author, one should not be surprised to find the writing lively and
Briefly, Raquez/Gervais travelled widely in China, as the subtitle of
his book suggests, and wrote daily reports that tell of his experiences and
more valuably convey his detailed observations of life and customs wherever
he went. His writing on Macao, for example, provides both a colourful
description of the city and its buildings and also of the people that he saw as
he travelled around. Then in the very next report he shifts gears and provides
a prosaic but useful report on the industries of Macao. This is thus both an
enjoyable travel narrative and a useful source of information on China at the
end of the nineteenth century.