Stephen Whiteman’s research and teaching focuses on the visual and spatial cultures of early modern China in their global contexts. He is author and editor of eight volumes on art, architecture, and landscape in early modern and modern China and Southeast Asia, including the multiple-award winning, Where Dragon Veins Meet: The Kangxi Emperor and His Estate at Rehe (Washington UP, 2020). His most recent book, Landscape and Authority in the Early Modern World (Penn UP, 2023), a collection of ten essays forthcoming from Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture, argues the potential of connective histories of landscape for expanding our understanding of early modern space beyond nationally or culturally constrained discourses.
His new book project, Under Heaven and Within the Seas: Mapping China Since 1000 (Reaktion, forthcoming) draws on art history and cultural geography to explore the changing political and cultural stakes of landscape and territory in China from the perspective of a transcultural history of cartography. With Hedren Sum, he is developing X-Sheds: An Interactive Art History of Experience, which explores the potential for deep modelling of multi-sensory environments as means for critically reconstructing spatial and sensorial experiences of the past. He is also a member of the British Academy-funded project Chinese Global Orders, which brings together 20 scholars of China across the humanities and social sciences to explore understandings of global order from Chinese perspectives.
- Connected histories of art and architecture in early modern China
- Garden and landscape studies in Asia
- Technologies of art and visuality in early modern China
- Mobility and artistic transmission in the Indo-Pacific world
- Digital and computational methods in art and architectural history.
On research leave 2022–23.
- Ricarda Brosch, “The Intervening Years: Court Painting between Fluorescence, Death and Revolution (1790s-1840s).” The Courtauld Institute of Art (CHASE DTP Scholarship).
- Corrina Ellis, “An Edo-period provincial garden in pictures, poetry and prose: the case of Shukkei-en, Hiroshima.” The Courtauld Institute of Art (CHASE DTP Scholarship/Sasakawa Foundation Scholarship).
- He Junyao, “Imperial Performance: The Pictorial Fiction and Conceptual Reality of Emperor Qianlong’s Costume Portraiture in Eighteenth-Century China.” The Courtauld Institute of Art (Smithsonian Fellowship/Courtauld Scholarship).
- Pu Lan, “Connections in the Making and Meaning of the Art of Bhutan and Tibet in the 17th and 18th Centuries: A Study of the Wall Paintings at Tango Monastery.” The Courtauld Institute of Art (co-supervisor, with Christian Luczantis [SOAS]; Ho Foundation Doctoral Fellowship in Buddhist Art and Conservation).
- Su Wenjie, “Machines of Time, Towers of Knowledge: Miniature Architectural Spaces and the Design of Timepieces in Sino-European Encounters, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.” Art and Archaeology, Princeton University (Kress Predoctoral Fellowship advisor, 2020–2022; supervisor: Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann [Princeton]).
- Chen Shuxia, “The Grey Zone: The Emergence of Self-Organised Photography Groups in Post-Mao Beijing, 1977–1988.” Australian Centre on China in the World, Australian National University, 2019 (co-supervisor, with Claire Roberts).
- Minerva Inwald, ‘“Drawing on Each Other’s Strengths to Overcome Each Other’s Weaknesses”: Professional Artists, the Masses, and the Artistic Culture of the People’s Republic, 1962–1974.’ University of Sydney, 2019 (associate supervisor, with Andres Rodriguez).
- Simon S. Y. Soon, “What is Left of Art?” University of Sydney, 2015 (associate supervisor, with Adrian Vickers).
- Where Dragon Veins Meet: The Kangxi Emperor and His Estate at Rehe. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2020. (On the Brinck Book Award, UNM School of Architecture and Planning, 2022; John Brinckerhoff Jackson Book Prize, UVA Center for Cultural Landscapes, 2022; Elisabeth Blaire MacDougall Book Award (Honorable Mention), Society of Architectural Historians, 2022; Best Book Prize (Highly Commended), Art Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2021)
- Longmai: Kangxi di he Bishu shanzhuang 龙脉：康熙帝与避暑山庄. Beijing: Zhongxin chuban jituan, 2021. (Simplified character translation of Where Dragon Veins Meet: The Kangxi Emperor and His Estate at Rehe)
- Thirty-Six Views: The Kangxi Emperor’s Mountain Estate in Poetry and Prints. Washington, DC and Cambridge, MA: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library & Collection and Harvard University Press, 2016. With Richard E. Strassberg. (John Brinckerhoff Jackson Book Prize, Foundation for Landscape Studies, 2017)
- Floating Time: Chinese Prints, 1954-2002. Sydney: Power Publications, 2016. Edited and co-authored with John Clark, Minerva Inwald, and Bingqing Wei.
- Landscape and Authority in the Early Modern World. Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2023. [In press]
- Port Cities and Landscapes of the Sea. Special issue, Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes 42.4 (Dec., 2022). Co-edited with Kathleen John-Alder.
- Ambitious Alignments: New Histories of Southeast Asian Art, 1945–1990. Singapore and Sydney: National Gallery Singapore and Power Publications, 2018. Co-edited with Sarena Abdullah, Phoebe Scott, and Yvonne Low. (Best Anthology Prize [runner-up], Art Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2019)
- Early Modern Imperial Landscapes. Special issue, Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes 37.2 (Apr., 2017).
- Asian Art Research in Australia and New Zealand: Past, Present, Future. Special issue, Australia and New Zealand Journal of Art 16.2 (Dec., 2016). Co-edited with Olivier Krischer.
- Chinese Global Orders, London School of Economics and Political Science and the British Academy. PIs: Leigh Janco (LSE) and Hasan Karrar (Lahore University of Management Sciences). Funded by the British Academy Global Convening Programme (2023–2025).
- Site and Space in Southeast Asia, University of Sydney, and National Gallery, Singapore. Co-PI, with Mark Ledbury and Adrian Vickers. Funded by the Getty Foundation Connecting Art Histories Initiative (2017–2022).
- Ambitious Alignments: New Histories of Southeast Asian Art, University of Sydney, Institute of Technology, Bandung, and National Gallery, Singapore. Co-PI, with Mark Ledbury and Adrian Vickers. Funded by the Getty Foundation Connecting Art Histories Initiative (2014–2016).
- Sussan Babaie, Fresco Sam-Sin, and Stephen Whiteman, eds., Trans-Asias: Early Modern Stories from The Courtauld. An on-going collaborative student research project published via Things That Talk. http://thingsthattalk.net/zone/courtauld-trans-asias (2020–)
Essays and articles
- “Connective Landscapes: Mobilizing Space in the Transcultural Early Modern.” In S. Whiteman, ed., Landscape and Authority in the Early Modern World. Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2023, pp. 1–28. [In press]
- “缺席的文物: 魏瑞明—丟失的王原祁《避暑山莊圖冊》” [Absent Objects: Stephen H. Whiteman on Wang Yuanqi’s Lost Album of Bishu shanzhuang],” in Chang Hui-ching 張惠菁 and Lai Yu-chih 賴毓芝, eds., 《物見：48位物的閱讀者，與他們所見的世界》[Seeing: 48 Object Readers and their Worlds]. Taipei: 衛城出版社/Acropolis Publishing House, 2022, pp. 358–65.
- “On Uncertain Ground: Lost Landscapes, Digital Mediation, and Site-Based Research at Early Qing Chengde.” International Journal of Digital Humanities (2022).
- “Beyond the Perspectival Paradigm: Early Modern Pictorial Space and Digital Challenges to the Field.” Art Bulletin 103.2 (June, 2021): 8–23.
- “超越透视法的典范：早期现代的图会空间及其研究领域的数字研究挑战” [Beyond the Perspectival Paradigm: Early Modern Pictorial Space and the Challenge of Digital Research to the Field of Art History],《美术大观》 [Art Panorama] (2022): 62–71. Mainland Chinese translation of “Beyond the Perspectival Paradigm,” trans. He Junyao.
- “Mimi Gates and Josh Yiu, eds., Chinese Painting & Calligraphy.” Art Bulletin 99.2 (June 2017): 368-373.
- Enhanced digital version: “Mimi Gates and Josh Yiu, eds., Chinese Painting & Calligraphy”, co-produced with Nancy Um and Lauren Cesiro.
- “From Upper Camp to Mountain Estate: Recovering Historical Narratives in Qing Imperial Landscapes.” Studies in the History of Gardens & Designed Landscapes 33.4 (2013): 249-279. (Society of Architectural Historians (US) Landscape History Essay Prize, 2015)