Global Medicine in the Republic of China, 1937 to 1970 | DEMOS21

This is a virtual event | Registration required
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 - 16:00

The Center for Critical Democracy Studies invites you to join a presentation by Assistant Professor of History at Vassar College, Wayne Soon, entitled "Global Medicine in the Republic of China, 1937 to 1970", as part of its DEMOS 21 convocation. This is a virtual event and registration is required. 

This presentation makes a case for the concept of "global medicine" in understanding the history of medicine and society in modern China and Taiwan by showing how Chinese diasporic medical personnel were central in shaping the transnational history of Chinese biomedicine from 1937 to 1970. The talk will focus on two specific cases. First, the talk will explore how Chinese American women doctors established the first Chinese blood bank in New York and wartime China. Second, this presentation will show how Overseas Chinese doctors relocated the National Defense Medical Center from China to Taiwan during the Chinese Civil War. This presentation highlights the critical intersections of medical expertise, gender inclusion, political freedoms, and diasporic power in shaping global medicine through a critical examination of these two medical encounters between the diaspora and the local Chinese and Taiwanese.

WAYNE SOON (PhD Princeton) is an Assistant Professor of History at Vassar College. He researches on how international ideas and practices of medicine, institution-building, and diaspora have shaped Chinese East Asia’s interaction with its people and the world in the twentieth century. His book, Global Medicine in China: a Diasporic History (Stanford University Press, 2020), tells the global health history of China through the lens of diasporic medical personnel, who were central in introducing new practices of military medicine, blood banking, mobile medicine, and mass medical training to China and Taiwan. Universal care, practical medical education, and mobile medicine are all lasting legacies of this effort on both sides of the Taiwan Straits. Dr Soon’s published and forthcoming articles can be found in Twentieth Century China, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, American Journal of Chinese Studies, and East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal.


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