Space is a ubiquitous and essential dimension of human existence, so much so that it is often taken for granted. In what has been dubbed the “spatial turn,” Western scholars in geography, philosophy, history, literature, and other disciplines have tried to reorient critical perspectives in order to account for the importance of space to humanity. Meanwhile, space/place has been a fairly prominent subject in the study of medieval China. This essay contrasts Western general and local theories and Sinological studies to show their divergent and overlapping concerns. The juxtaposition illustrates how Western theories of spatiality can help open up new possibilities for Sinological studies of medieval China. Meanwhile, such engagements can also enhance the relevance of Sinological studies of medieval China to the developments in broader academia and beyond.

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