Dr. Yuan-Ling Chao

Yuan-Ling ChaoProfessor

E-mail: yuanling.chao@mtsu.edu 
Phone: (615) 898-2629
Office Location: Peck Hall Room 265
MTSU Box 23
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Web: www.mtsu.edu/~ychao

B.A. in History, Hong Kong Baptist College, 1981
M.A. in History, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1983
Ph.D. in History, UCLA, 1995

China, Japan, World History, History of Medicine

History of medicine in China, comparative study of the history of medicine

Medicine and Society in Late Imperial China: A Study of Physicians in Suzhou, 1600-1850 (NY: Peter Lang Publishing, 2009)

This book explores the vibrant medical landscape in late imperial China (1600-1850), focusing on one of the most cultured and elegant cities in the lower Yangzi region, Suzhou. The central theme of the book is that the economic prosperity and intellectual vibrancy of late imperial Jiangnan fostered the emergence of a community of physicians who engaged in lively debates concerning qualifications and practice, leading to a growing sense of identity and new ways of theorizing and practicing medicine. It shows that the classical medical tradition interacted in a fluid relationship with both the state and the folk traditions.

I am examining the growing importance of pi (spleen) and wei (stomach) in medical theory and practice, and the role that they played in the formation and maturation of the wenbing (warm factor) theory during late imperial times. The study is placed within the political, social, and intellectual framework of the time.

Another project that I am working on is popular ideas of healing. I examine how Daoist, Buddhist, and local religions shaped beliefs and practices of medicine. The conception of the bodily landscape in popular traditions overlapped those of the elite tradition, but also possessed a distinct set of rituals and practices.

For more information on courses and research, please see my website: http://mtweb.mtsu.edu/ychao