Luis Fernando Bernardi Junqueira (林友樂)

Luis has earned a bachelor’s degree in History at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil (2009–2014), and a master’s degree in Chinese History at Fudan University, China (2015–2018). He is currently a PhD student in the Department of History at the University College London (UCL) and a special research student in the Department of Global Japanese Studies at Tohoku University, Japan (2022–2023). 
How did a new science initially promoted by only a few individuals eventually become a widespread cultural phenomenon practised and known by thousands of people? Funded by the Wellcome Trust [Reference: 217661/Z/19/Z], his PhD project investigates the transnational history of psychical research in early twentieth-century China (c. 1900–1949), particularly its impact on healthcare and religious experience. 
Luis’s research interests include modern Chinese history, medical history, esotericism, and science and technology studies. He has published in Monumenta Serica (2018), Social History of Medicine (2021), Routledge Handbook of Chinese Medicine (2022) and the Journal of the History of Behavioral Sciences (2023), and is currently co-editing the volume Therapy, Spirituality and East Asian Imaginaries, under contract with the Amsterdam University Press.
Luis is a founding member of the East Asian Network for the Academic Study of Esotericism (EANASE).


Primary supervisor: Professor Vivienne Lo
Second supervisor: Professor Sonu Shamdasani
Working title: The Science of the Spirit: Psychical Research, Healthcare and the Revival of the Occult in a Modernising China, 1900–1949
Expected completion date: August 2023

Selected scholarships and prizes

  • Wellcome Trust Doctoral Studentship in Medical Humanities (Wellcome Trust, 2019-2022)
  • D. Kim Foundation Dissertation Fellowship (2022–2023)
  • Outstanding Doctoral Research Award 博士生优秀论文 (Confucius Institute, 2023)
  • China Studies Program Online Joint Research Ph.D. Fellowship 新汉学计划中外合作线上培养博士生项目 (Confucius Institute, 2021–2022)
  • John C. Burnham Early Career Award (Forum for the History of Human Science & Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 2021)
  • Wellcome Trust Open Access Award (Wellcome Trust, 2021)
  • UCL DocSkills Language Support Fund (for Japanese, 2021)
  • Conference Fund (Université de Neuchâtel, 2021)
  • Outstanding International Student Award (Fudan University, 2018)
  • Chinese Government Scholarship (Fudan University, 2015-2018)
  • Certificate of Honor, Student of the Year Award (Nanjing Normal University, 2014-2015)
  • Chinese Government Scholarship (Nanjing Normal University, 2014-2015)
  • Certificate of Honor, The Excellent Student of the Semester (East China Normal University, 2014)
  • Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina Studentship (UFSC, 2009-2014)

Selected Publications (2018–2023)

Book Reviews & Others

Selected presentations and invited lectures

  • ‘Crafting the Ideal Citizen: Hypnotism, Social Reform and the Making of Modern China, 1900–1949’. Paper presented at the American Association for the History of Medicine in Ann Arbor, Michigan, 11–14 May 2023.
  • ‘Disembodied Spirits or Mental Suggestion? Psychical Research and the Redefinition of Superstition in Republican China’. Paper presented at Uncanny Beliefs: Superstition in Chinese History (organised by Emily Baum and Albert Wu), Academia Sinica, 13–14 January 2023.
  • (with Renata Palandri Sigolo) ‘The Introduction and Integration of Reiki into the Brazilian Public Health System’. Paper presented at A Century of Usui Reiki Ryōhō: The History, Present, and Futur of a Global Japanese Spiritual Therapy (organised by Justin Stein and Kurita Hidehiko), East Asian Network for the Academic Study of Esotericism, 28 May 2022.
  • ‘Disembodied Spirits or Multiple Personalities? Psychical Research and the Redefinition of Superstition in Republican China’. Paper presented at Superstition in Chinese History (organised by Emily Baum and Albert Wu), UC Irvine, 19–20 May 2022. 
  • ‘Revealing Secrets: Psychical Research, Talismans and the Market of the Occult in Republican China’.”Paper presented at the Association for Asian Studies 2022 Annual Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, 24–27 March 2022. 
  • ‘Nurturing the Mind and Body: Hypnosis, Spiritual Cultivation and the Healthcare Market of Modern China, 1900–1949’. Paper presented at the National Conference on History of Technology and Science 2022, Uppsala University, Sweden, 16–18 March 2022. 
  • ‘Awakening the Spirit, Strengthening the Body, Saving the Nation: Hypnosis as an Instrument of Change in Early Twentieth-Century China’. Dissertation chapter to be presented at the International Workshop on the History of Psychology and the Sciences of the Human Mind, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, 17–18 March 2022.
  • (with Vivienne Lo) ‘Zhongguo yixueshi de yanjiu fangfa lujing ji qushi 中國醫學史的研究方法、路徑及趨勢 [Chinese Medical History: Research Methods and Trends]’. Invited lecture at History Department, Fudan University, 7 November 2021. 
  • ‘The Science of the Spirit: Psychical Research and the Paranormal in a Transnational China, c. 1900–1930’. Paper presented at the 2nd ESHS Early Career Scholars Conference, Athens, 20-22 September 2021.
  • ‘Materialising the Spirit: Spiritualism and Photography in Early Twentieth-Century China’. Paper presented at Technique et religion: cultures techniques, croyances, circulations de l’Antiquité à nos jours, Paris, 1–3 September 2021.
  • ‘Books, Manuscripts and the Publication of Folk Healing Knowledge in the Late Qing and Republican Periods’. Paper presented at the 23rd Biennial Conference of the European Association for Chinese Studies, Leipzig, 24–27 August 2021.
  • ‘Capturing the Dead: Spirits, Photography and the Revival of the Occult in Republican China (1912–1949)’. Paper presented at the 26th International Congress of History of Science and Technology, Prague, 25–31 July 2021. 
  • ‘Is There Chinese Medicine Beyond TCM? Research Insights into Chinese Folk Healing Through Everyday Objects’. Invited lecture at the SAR’s 2021 International Research Conference, Society for Acupuncture Research/Medical Residency in Acupuncture HU-UFSC, 25 May 2021.
  • (with Chila Kumari Burman, Sonu Shamdasani and Vivienne Lo) ‘Alternative Epistemologies: Re-humouring the Golden Elixir’. Talk presented at the Institute of Advanced Studies – Fifth Anniversary, University College London, United Kingdom, 6 May 2021.
  • ‘The Material Culture of Epidemics in Late Imperial China’. Invited lecture at the Health Humanities MA Programme, University College London, United Kingdom, 10 December 2020. 
  • ‘Warding Off Evil Spirits: Amulets and Talismans as Healthcare Technologies of Everyday Life’. Paper presented at the China and Covid-19 Debate. China Centre for Health and Humanity, University College London, United Kingdom, 8 December 2020.
  • ‘In Search of the Spirit: Self-Hypnosis and the Realization of the Self in Modern China, c. 1900-1949’. Paper presented at the 3rd Congress of the Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research. University of Sheffield, United Kingdom, 23–24 January 2020. 
  • ‘Medicine in China: An Overview’. Invited by Dr Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim to deliver a lecture in the Department of History at Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom, 30 October 2019. 
  • ‘Materializing the Spirit: The Spiritual Science Movement in the Late Qing and Republican China’. Paper presented at 19th Annual Research Postgraduate Conference of the Faculty of Social Sciences. The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 22 June 2019. 

Conference organisation

Spirituality, Healthcare and Social Movements in East Asia: A Transnational Perspective. University College London, Tohoku University, Chiba University, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Academic Sinica, Brown University, 6–27 November 2021.


  • Oct 2020–July 2022 Survey Course: Ancient and Medieval China HIST0162 (TA, UCL)
  • Jan 2020–May 2022 Advanced Seminar: History of Asian Medicine HIST0218 (TA, UCL)
  • July–Aug 2019 Common Core Course: Gender, Health, and Globalization CCGL9028 (TA, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
  • Sept–July 2018 中国近现代医学文化史 [Cultural History of Modern Chinese Medicine] (TA, Fudan University, Shanghai, China)
  • Feb 2011–July 2012 Local and Environmental History (Middle school teacher, Dilma Lúcia dos Santos Middle School, Florianópolis, Brazil)