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The Daily Life of Hygiene and Public Health in Republican ChinaMay 7, 2020
The Peking Union Medical College was the leading medical education institution in China for decades, producing doctors and nurses whose qualifications were on par with those from American universities. But alongside the running of this medical college and attached hospital, the China Medical Board was also involved in the conception, establishment, staffing, and funding of a range of smaller-scale, localised initiatives that prioritised public health and hygiene education at the grassroots level. From the Rockefeller Archive Center, I gathered reports, accounts, and correspondence about such projects as the Peking First Health Station, the Shanghai Kao-Chiao Health Demonstration Area, and the Mass Education Movement at Ting Hsien, to demonstrate how hygiene was taught and health services were provided to Chinese laypeople in the early twentieth century. The China Medical Board worked with local governments, sponsors, and reformists to adapt global ideals of hygienic reform and localise them for norms and culture. In time, they would create distinctly Chinese models of communal hygiene that could be emulated throughout Republican China. My dissertation examines the experiences of these reformists and highlights how the proliferation of their projects features in the everyday lives of the Chinese people in the early twentieth century. Moreover, it demonstrates that public health initiatives thrived on the municipal, provincial, and county levels, even when the centralised national government was in flux.
Some thoughts on writing Modern China and Rockefeller Foundation (1913-1966)January 14, 2019
With generous financial support provided by the Rockefeller Archive Center, I was able to pay a research visit to Rockefeller Archive Center from July 20 to September 7, 2018. This was my second visit to the Center, following one in 2008, when the Center granted and financially supported my one-month-long access to its archival resources. This second visit proved to be an important one. This time I took advantage of the fact that the Center now allows archive users to take photographs. As a result, I was able to proceed with my work efficiently and made extensive use of archival material which I missed in my previous visit. This report presents a description of the important historical materials I have viewed and collected during this visit. It includes seven subjects in general, described as follows, that together constitute my research project, Modern China and Rockefeller Foundation (1913-1966).
The Culture and Practice of International Health in Asia and the PacificNovember 14, 2017
My work at the Rockefeller Archive Center evolved into a study of the making of an international community of public health experts and researchers across imperial Asia and the Pacific. My initial interest lay with the history professional associations, particularly the Far Eastern Association of Tropical Medicine (FEATM) and the Pacific Science Association (PSA). The FEATM was established in Manila in 1908, largely through American initiative, whilst the Pacific Science Association developed out of a similar dynamic in Hawaii in 1920. In addition to fostering the exchange of ideas, research, and practices, these associations also proclaimed the goal of cultivating international understanding, fellowship, and ultimately peace through cooperation. Many of the personnel of the International Health Board (IHB) of the Rockefeller Foundation were either founders or enthusiastic participants in these associations, whilst the IHB supported many of the institutions, projects, and students across Asia and the Pacific that presented their work at their international congresses. I thus hoped to use officers diaries, correspondence, and reports held at the Rockefeller Archive Center to trace the movements and connections between health officials and scientists in Asia and the Pacific. The official publications of the FEATM and PSA promoted the goodwill of international conferences, so it was important to consult more private and confidential sources to discover what tensions and hostilities coexisted with cooperation and exchange.
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