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Hot and Numb! 2000 years of Sichuan pepper

Saturday 13th June, 12.00 midday, The Spice Exchange, Kew Gardens. As part of the Kew Full of Spice Festival 2015, Vivienne Lo (UCL CCHH) will give a presentation on the history of Sichuan pepper, its medical and culinary uses. More...

Film and Discussion: When China Met Africa

Wednesday 20 May, 6.30pm, Roberts 106, UCL. FREE – part of UCL Festival of the Arts 2015. Book via Eventbrite.
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Lady Precious Stream

A symposium on S. I. Hsiung's 1934 play, and the obstacles to and opportunities for East Asian voices in UK theatre and literature. Monday 18 May, 6.30–8pm, Anatomy JZ Young LT.
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Medical Humanities in China

An international interdisciplinary conference at Peking University Institute for Medical Humanities, 15-17th October, 2015. Call for papers.
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Call for Chinese-speaking choral singers!

London Chinese Philharmonic Choir 伦敦华人爱乐合唱团 (LCPC) is looking for additional singers to perform the Yellow River Cantata 黄河大合唱 in September/October 2015. More...

5th Annual Chinese Visual Festival

7–22 May 2015, at King’s College London, BFI Southbank, Bertha DocHouse and Chelsea College of Arts. The festival will welcome to London some of the most exciting directors currently working in Chinese-language cinema and art. More...

The Chinese Erhu during the First World War

An evening of performance and discussion with Dr Colin Huehns. Friday 8th May, 7pm, UCL South Cloisters More...

Thinking Chinese Exhibition (31/03–12/05 2015)

Venue: South Cloisters, Wilkins Building,
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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