Health, Medicine and Society in Late Imperial and Modern China: Diseases in Chinese History: their significance and meanings.
Professor Angela Ki Che LEUNG(angela‐firstname.lastname@example.org)
Classroom: MW 514
Time: 1:30‐3:20 PM
This lecture/seminar course explores the social and cultural meanings of disease in a
critical period in Chinese history, from the late imperial to the modern periods. It
studies the changing concepts of disease and the relevance of disease in Chinese
history. The course is in two main parts: it will look at, first, “old diseases” prevalent
in late imperial China and then emerging “new diseases” in the modern period. By
studying China’s changing categorization, explanations and management of diseases
and epidemics, we aim at reaching a new and deeper understanding of what defines
The class meets once a week for lectures and discussions. There is no tutorial
arrangement. Students should attend all classes, actively participate in discussions,
and write a term paper at the end of the semester. Grading will be based on
attendance, participation and oral presentation (30%), a short (4‐6 pages
double‐spaced)reading report(20%) and a longer(10‐12 pages double‐spaced) term
The short reading report is on any one of the assigned reading under the five
“Discussion” sessions(see Course Schedule).
Students can write their term paper on any of the following topics:
1. Using digitalized HK government documents
as primary sources to write a brief history of ONE major disease affecting 19th‐
and early 20th‐century HK (malaria, cholera, smallpox, syphilis, tuberculosis,
leprosy, mental illness, or others), putting emphasis on how Chinese in HongKong reacted to public disease management.
2. For those who can read Chinese, use the medical case book by the modern
Chinese doctor Zhou Xiaonong 周小農 (1876‐1942) ( 周小農醫案 University
electronic resource) working in Wuxi near Shanghai, to reconstruct the social
management of disease in this period (including one or several of the following
that can constitute a coherent paper: the prevalence of certain diseases, the
particular framing of diseases, gender, class and age differences in receiving
treatment, doctor‐patient relation, social support of patients, and Dr Zhou’s
attitude towards Westernmedicine etc.)
3. Any other topic related to the theme of this course using primary sources.
Discuss with the instructor before April 10. The short reading report and the term paper should be submitted by 16 May 2014 10PM (University grade submission deadline 2013‐2014 (Semester 2): 12 June 2014)
- Late work: All assignments are due by the specified date and time. Unless there is
a documented campus‐wide power or internet outage, technological problems
will not excuse you from the deadline.No late submissions will be accepted.
- Plagiarism: If you copy other people’s work without proper acknowledgement,
you will fail this course. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:
copying/summarizing/extracting information and ideas from books, journals,
newspapers, websites(incl. Wikipedia), and other printed and electronic sources
without acknowledging the source of information.
- All papers must be uploaded to Turnitin.com by the due date.
For lecture class without a full discussion session, everyone must read the work
with * for class discussion after the lecture
Jan 23: Lecture: Concepts of disease and its relevance in history (Rosenberg 1997,
Kuriyama 1993, Leung 1993)
Jan 30: Lecture: Traditional Chinese views of health and illness (Elman 2006;
Hinrichs&Barnes 2013, ch. 6; Kuriyama 2000; Leung 2010; Strickmann, 2002; Topley
Feb 13: Lecture: Why is the history of diseases important? (McNeil 1976, Dunstan
1975, Leung 1993) on a recent Chinesemovie on late Ming epidemics:
Discussion: “History of infectious diseases in Hong Kong: A story of Discovery and
Feb 20: Lecture: How did doctorsrecord treatment of diseases: Medical Case book
(Andrews 2001*,Grant 2003, Furth 2007)
Feb 27: Lecture: Old disease 1: Smallpox in Chinese history: its social and cultural
significance (Leung 1996*, 2008; Chang 2000*; 梁其姿 2013, chapters 3 & 4;
Hopkins 2002, chapter 3)
Mar 6: Lecture: Old disease 2: Leprosy in Chinese history: its social and cultural
significance (Leung 2009)
Mar 13: Reading week
Mar 20: Lecture: How did Qing doctors explain epidemics(Hinrichs & Barnes 2013,
chapter 6;Hanson 2011; 祝平一 2013)
Discussion on the text by John Dudgeon 1877: How did Western medical doctors
view diseasesin 19th‐century China
Mar 27: Lecture:New disease 1: Mental illness as an emerging disease category in
modern China (T’ien 1985;Ng 1990,Jeffereys and Maxwell 251‐257, Kleinman 1982)
Discussion: Lee 1999.
Apr 3: Lecture: New disease 3: Tuberculosis as a modern disease (Lei 2010A,
Discussion: 1. Lu Xun , “Medicine” 藥inNovels/ English and Chinese. Selections 2000
(eBook). Beijing shi: Waiwen chubanshe; 2. Sontag 1979
Apr 10: Lecture: New disease 3: Plague epidemics in the 19th century :
Contagion/Infection as amodern conception:(Benedict 1996A; Lei 2010B)
Discussion: 1. Two accounts bymissionary doctors witnessing the plague in Canton; 2.
Apr 17: Lecture: Disease and public health: Hygienic modernity (Rogaski, 2004
“Introduction”*, ch. 4, 8; Leung&Furth, 2010, especially “Introduction”)
Movie: Wu Lien‐teh
Apr 24: Conclusion: How do we understand China’s modernity by studying the
history of framing and managing diseases and epidemics? (Leung & Furth 2010
“introduction”*; Rogaski 2004, chapter 3 and conclusion*)
1. Andrews, Bridie, “Tuberculosis and the Assimilation of Germ Theory in
China, 1895‐1937” Journal for the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences.
52.1 (1997), pp. 114‐157.
2. ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐, “From case recordsto case histories: the modernization of
a Chinese medical genre, 1912‐49”, in E. Hsu ed., Innovation in Chinese
Medicine. CambridgeUniversity Press, 2001, pp.324‐341.(in Moodle)
3. Benedict, Carol (A), Bubonic Plague in Nineteenth‐century China. Stanford
University Press, 1996.* (Reserve 1 day)
4. ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐(B), “Framing plague in China’s past”, in G. Hershatter, E.
Honig, J. Lipman & R. Stross eds., Remapping China. Fissures in Historical
Terrain. Stanford: StanfordUniversity Press 1996, pp.27‐41.(Reserve 1 day)
5. Chang, Chia‐feng, “Dispersing the foetal toxin of the body: conceptions of
smallpox aetiology in Pre‐modern China” in L. Conrad & D. Wujastyk,
Contagion. Perspectives from Pre‐modern Societies. Aldershot: Ashgate
2000, pp.23‐38. (In Moodle)
6. Cheung, Fanny M., “The indigenization of neurasthenia in Hong Kong”,
Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 13 (1989): 227‐241.(In Moodle)
7. Dudgeon, John, Diseases of China. Their Causes, Conditions, and Prevalence,
Contrasted with those of Europe.Glasglow:Dunn& Wright, 1877.
8. Dunstan, Helen, “The late Ming epidemics: a preliminary survey”,
Ch’ing‐shih wen‐t’I 3.3 (Nov. 1975), pp. 1‐59.(In Moodle)
9. Elman, Benjamin, A Cultural History of Modern Science in China. Harvard
University Press, 2006 (chap.7, “The displacement of traditional Chinese
science andmedicine”, pp. 198‐228)
(China sharing website)(Reserve 1 day)
10. Furth, Charlotte, A Flourishing Yin. Gender in China’s Medical History,
960‐1665.University of California Press, 1996.* (Reserve 1 day)
11. ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐, “Producing medical knowledge through cases: history,
evidence, and action”, in C. Furth, J. Zeitlin &P‐c Hsiung eds., Thinking with
Cases, Specialist Knowledge in Chinese Cultural History. University of
Hawai’i Press, 2007, Chapter 4, pp. 125‐151.(Reserve 1 day)
12. Grant, Joanna, A Chinese Physician: Wang Ji and the Stone Mountain
Medical CaseHistory. London: Routledge 2003.(Reserve 1 day)
13. Hanson, Marta, Speaking of Epidemics in Chinese Medicine. London & NY:
14. Hinrichs, TJ & Barnes, L., Chinese Medicine and Healing. An Illustrated
History. Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press,
2013, chapter 6 “TheQing period”.(Reserve 1 day)
15. “History of infectious diseases in Hong Kong: A story of Discovery and
Challenge”, in Plague, SARS, and the Story of Medicine in Hong Kong. Hong
Kong Museum of Medical Science Society ed. Hong Kong University Press,
2006, pp. 17‐74 (Reserve 1 day)
16. Hopkins,D., Princes and Peasants. Smallpox inHistory.University of Chicago
Press 2002. Chapter 3 “Heavenly Flowers”103‐138.(Reserve 1 day)
17.Jefferys, H. & Maxwell, J.,The Diseases of China: Including Formosa and
Korea. Philadelphia: Blakiston 1911 (University electronic resource)
18. Kleinman, Arthur, “Neurasthenia and depression: A study of somatization
and culture in China”, Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 6 (1982): 117‐190.
19. ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐, Social Origins of Distress and Disease: Depression, Neurasthenia,
and Pain in Modern China. YaleUniversity Press 1990.(Reserve 1 day)
20. Kuriyama, Shigehisa, “Concepts of Disease in East Asia” in K. Kiple, The
Cambridge World History of Human Disease. Cambridge University Press,
1993, pp. 52‐59 (University Library Reference)
21. Lee, Sing, “Diagnosis postponed: Shenjing shuairuo (神經衰弱)and the
transformation of psychiatry in post‐Mao China”, Culture, Medicine and
Psychiatry 23 (1999): 349‐380.(In Moodle)
22. Lei, Sean H.l. (A), “Habituating Individuality: Framing Tuberculosis and Its
Material Solutionsin Republican China” Bulletin for the History of Medicine
84 (2010), pp. 248‐279.
23. ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ (B) “Constituting notifiable infectious disease and
containing the Manchurian plague”, in Leung & Furth, 2010, pp. 73‐108.
(Reserve 1 day)
24. Leung, Angela KC, “Diseases of the Premodern Period China” in Cambridge
World History of Human Diseases, K.F. Kiple (ed.), Cambridge University
Press 1993, pp. 354‐362.(University Library reference)
25. ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ “The business of vaccination in 19th century Canton”,
Late Imperial China. 29.1 Supplement, 2008, pp. 7‐39
26. ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐, “The evolution of the idea of chuanran contagion in
imperial China”, in Leung&Furth eds., 2010, pp. 25‐50. (Reserve 1 day)
27. ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐, Leprosy in China: A History. Columbia University Press
2009.* (Reserve 1 day)
28. ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ “Variolation and vaccination in Late Imperial China, ca.
1570‐1911”, in S. Plotkin & B. Fantini, eds. Vaccinia, Vaccination,
Vaccinology. Jenner, Pasteur and their successors, Paris: Elsevier, 1996 pp.
65‐71 (In Moodle)
29. AKC Leung&C. Furth eds., Health and Hygiene in Chinese East Asia: Policies
and Publicsin the Long 20th Century. Duke University Press 2010 (Reserve 1
30. Lu Xun, Novels/English and Chinese. Selections. Beijing shi: Waiwen
Chubanshe , 2000(“Medicine” “藥”) (University electronic resource)
31. McNeil, William, Plagues and Peoples. Blackwell, 1976.(Reserve 1 day)
32.Ng, Vivien, Madness in Late Imperial China. From Illness to Deviance.
University ofOklahoma Press 1990.(pp. 25‐89)(Reserve 1 day)
33. Rogaski, Ruth, Hygienic Modernity. Meanings of Health and Disease in
Treaty‐Port China. Berkeley: University of California Press 2004 (chapter 3
“Medical encounters and divergences, pp. 76‐103)
W&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false (Reserve 1 day)
34. Rosenberg, Charles, “Framing disease: Illness, Society, and History”, in C.
Rosenberg and J. Golden eds., Framing Disease: Studiesin Cultural History.
RutgersUniversity Press 1997, “Introduction”.* (In Moodle)
35. Sontag, Susan, Illness as Metaphor. New York: Vintage book 1979. (Reserve
36. Strickmann, Michel, Chinese Magical Medicine. Stanford University Press
2002.(Reserve 1 day)
37. T’ien Ju‐k’ang, “Traditional Chinese beliefs and attitudes towards mental
illness” in W.S. Tseng & D.Wu eds., Chinese Culture and Mental Health.
New York: Academic Press, 1985, pp. 67‐82. (In Moodle)
38. Topley, Marjorie, “Chinese Traditional Ideas and the Treatment of Disease:
Two Examples from Hong Kong”, in Man, v.5 no.3, 1970, pp.421‐437. (In
39. Volker Scheid, Chinese Medicine in Contemporary China: Plurality and
Synthesis.DukeUniversity Press 2002.* (Reserve 1 day)
http://dl.vmall.com/c0wa3bvpya (China sharing website)(Reserve 1 day)
41.林富士主編『疾病的歷史』台北聯經 2011 (Reserve 1 day)
42.祝平一, “瘟疫與社會: 以清代的痧症為例” 『健康與社會』祝平一主編,
台北聯經出版社 2013.(In Moodle)
43.周小農 (1876‐1942)『周小農醫案』上海: 上海科學技術出版社 1962
(University electronic resource)