Monday 23 June, 2–3.30pm, Room 105, 24 Gordon Square, UCL
The debate will bring together established academics and UCL graduate students to explore contemporary Taiwan-China relations in the light of the recent Sunflower protest movement (太阳花学运).
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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.
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.
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.
Page last modified on 16 may 11 21:09 by Helen Matthews