UCI Center for Asian Studies
Chinese medicine at the heart of America
Wednesday May 18, 2022 4:00-5:30 PM (PDT)
UCI 1030 Humanities Gateway
Followed by a reception
Registration in person:
This conference explores the terrain of “Oriental medicine” in a typically American city: Nashville, Tennessee, birthplace of the Grand Ole Opry and birthplace of country music. The research explores the origins of acupuncture in Tennessee and traces the personal journeys of practitioners from around the world to the southern United States. Seeing Chinese medicine embedded in this specific place reveals the profound difficulty of finding “China” in the complex culture of American wellness.
Departments of History and Asian Studies
Ruth Rogaski specializes in the history of science, medicine and the environment in China. She is the author of Hygienic Modernity: Meanings of Health and Illness in Treaty-Port China (University of California Press, 2004), which traces how hygiene became a crucial element in the formulation of Chinese modernity in the 19th and 20th centuries. Hygienic Modernity has received the Fairbank Prize in East Asian History, the Levenson Prize in Chinese Studies, the Welch Medal in History of Medicine, and was a co-recipient of the Berkshire Prize. She is also the author of Knowing Manchuria: environments, senses and natural knowledge on an Asian border (University of Chicago Press, 2022), which explores how various observers have created knowledge about the multiple environments of Northeast Asia from the 17th century to the present day. Grants and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, American Philosophical Society, National Science Foundation, and National Institutes for Health have funded his research and writing. She is currently writing a book on the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the Southern United States, focusing on her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.