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Order/Disorder: The artist-researcher as connector-disrupter-running messenger?

A UCL IAS Talking Point with Dr Kai Syng Tan, artist and UCL IAS Visiting Research Fellow.
Time: 5 December 2017, 6–8pm
Place: IAS Common Ground
Admission by free ticket from Eventbrite
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Chinese Film and the Medical Humanities: Ten workshops

Tuesday evenings (6.00pm) during term-time, 14 November 2017 to 6 February 2018, Room 215, Foster Court. More...

2017 Chinese Art Film Festival London Showcase

Modernisation and the Persistence of Traditional Values in China.
Co-organised by Shanghai Art Film Federation and SOAS China Institute. Tues–Fri during Reading Week, 7–10 October. Admission free – no registration required unless otherwise stated. More...

History of Pre-Modern Medicine seminar

The uses of ox-bezoar in pre-modern Japan in ritual and medical practices.
Speaker: Dr Benedetta Lomi (University of Bristol).
Time: Tuesday 24 October 2017, 6.15pm (doors open 6pm).
Place: Wellcome Library, 183 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE.
Everyone is welcome.
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The Silent Teacher

Film screening, 18 October 2017, 7pm, IAS Common Ground, South Wing, Wilkins Building. European première of The Silent Teacher 那個靜默的陽光午後 (Taiwan, 2016). More...

YiMovi Exhibition of Chinese Film and the Medical Humanities


A UCL-PKU collaborative event, jointly convened by Dr Vivienne Lo (UCL CCHH), Prof. Guo Liping (PKU) and Dr Daniel Vuillermin (PKU). Peking University Medical Campus, 31 May – 2 June 2017. More...

UNexpected London Chinese Short Film Festival 2017

UCL main campus 22–27 May. Short film screenings: 26–27 May. Free tickets from Eventbrite.

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MA Chinese Health & Humanity Dissertation Conference 2017

Wednesday 24 May, 2.00–5.00pm, Room 102, 23 Gordon Square.
Please do come along to support our students and find out about their fascinating research! More...

Nancy Holroyde-Downing

Mysteries of the Tongue: the Invention of a Diagnostic Tradition in Chinese Medicine

My PhD, whose working title is "Mysteries of the Tongue: the invention of a diagnostic tradition in Chinese medicine" investigates the circumstances that gave rise to tongue inspection becoming a pervasive element of diagnosis in Chinese traditional medicine.
Nancy Holroyde-Downing.jpg



 Although a systematised and illustrated text on tongue diagnosis was available from at least the 14th century, case records of renowned physicians working as recently as the 19 th century appear to make little use of it. My research will examine the relationship of tongue diagnosis to the periods of epidemic disease which ravaged southern China during the Ming Dynasty [1368-1644 CE] and the possibility that its emergence as a regional discipline among Southern Qing Dynasty [1644-1911] authors is related to the fact that febrile illness is reflected in rapid changes in the quality of the tongue.

Tongue image Additionally, I will explore developments in the late Qing and early Republican period, during which time the gaze of the new 'scientific' medicine from the west resonated in the innovation of anatomically correct tongue illustrations in medical texts.   Unlike the art of Pulse Diagnosis, the tongue is   objective and observable. I will examine how this fact made tongue diagnosis amenable to both biomedicine and   the institutional structures of the new Academies of Traditional Medicine being established in the People's Republic.

Having been a practitioner of Chinese traditional medicine for the past 20 years.   I am also interested in the relevance of the historical development of diagnostic techniques to contemporary practice - in particular, the ways in which authors of 'new' diagnostic methods within a traditional medicine are in constant dialogue with the theories articulated in classical texts.



n.holroyde-downing@ucl.ac.uk

Page last modified on 16 may 11 21:09 by Helen Matthews