Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Chinese Medicine, an Open Empire? Book Launch and Mini Conference

23 November 2022, 1:30 pm–8:00 pm

Book Cover

This hybrid event celebrates a new extensive, interdisciplinary guide to the nature of traditional medicine and healing in the Chinese cultural region, and its plural epistemologies.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Vivienne Lo


IAS Forum (and ONLINE!)
G17 Ground Floor, South Wing, UCL

In the Routledge Handbook of Chinese Medicine, edited by Vivienne Lo and Michael Stanley-Baker with Dolly Yang, established experts and the next generation of scholars interpret the ways in which Chinese medicine has been understood and portrayed from the beginning of the empire (third century BCE) to the globalisation of Chinese products and practices in the present day, taking in subjects from ancient medical writings to therapeutic movement, to talismans for healing and traditional medicines that have inspired global solutions to contemporary epidemics.

This is a joint event with History at the School of Humanities, Nanyang Technological University.





2.00pm WELCOME

Vivienne Lo and Michael Stanley-Baker , Andrew Leach on behalf of the Routledge Handbook Series


(each presentation will be 5 minutes long and subject to change!)

- Longue Durée and formation of institutions and traditions -

1. Chen Yun-Ju: Yin, yang, and five agents (wuxing) in the Basic Questions and early Han (202 BCE–220 CE) medical manuscripts

2. Michael Stanley-Baker: Qi 氣: a means for cohering natural knowledge, Jiang Shan: Categories of qi in the Inner Canon

3. Vivienne Lo and Gu Man: Re-envisioning Chinese medicine: the view from archaeology

4. Deborah Woolf: The importance of numerology, state ritual and medicine

5. Dolly Yang: Therapeutic exercise in the medical practice of Sui China (581–618 CE)

6. Stephan Boyanton: The canonicity of the Yellow Emperor's Inner Classic  

2.40pm - Sickness and Healing -

7. Yi-Li Wu: Gynecology and obstetrics from antiquity to the early twenty-first century

8. Li Jianmin 李建民 presented by Dolly Yang: Anatomy and surgery

9. Marta Hanson: Late imperial epidemiology

3.00pm - In Memoriam -

10. Volker Scheid to speak about Chip Chase

11. John Moffett to speak about Tony Butler


3.20pm TEA BREAK


3.50pm - Food and Sex -

12. Vivienne Lo and Luis Fernando Bernardi Junqueira: What not to eat – how not to treat: medical prohibitions

13. L. A. Rocha: The question of sex and modernity in China

- Spiritual and orthodox religious practices -

14. Elena Valussi: Daoist sexual practices for health and immortality for women

15. Luis Fernando Bernardi Junqueira: Numinous herbs: stars, spirits and medicinal plants in Late Imperial China

- Sinographic medicine and Wider diasporas -

16. Leslie de Vries: Vietnam in the pre-modern period

17. Mei Zhan: Entangled worlds: traditional Chinese medicine in the United States

- Negotiating modernity -

18. Paul Kadetz: The Declaration of Alma Ata and the global adoption of a ‘Maoist’ model for universal healthcare: case studies from Cuba, Guatemala, and the Philippines

19. Michael Heinrich, Ka Yui Kum and Ruyu Yao: Decontextualised Chinese medicines: their uses as health foods and medicines in the ‘global North’


4.30pm-5.15pm ROUNDTABLE: Chinese Medicine as Open Empire

5.15-6.00pm SOCIAL


To view the latest mini conference and book launch programme, as well as speakers' biographies, please click here.

For those attending online there will also be an online afterparty. Attendees can gather in a virtual bar to relax and hangout. An exclusive event, attendance is limited.

This event will be recorded.