The Institute fosters interdisciplinary studies and provides an excellent platform for academic exchange. Scholars and students from diverse backgrounds gather here and form an intellectually inspiring and productive community. The institute holds a weekly lunchtime seminar series which brings together humanists and social scientists located in Hong Kong and elsewhere. Courses offered by the distinguished visiting professors also give students more exposure to the international research and pedagogical methods. Moreover, the international institutional connections and generous funding allow students at the Institute to pursue advanced academic training abroad. It is really a rewarding experience to study at the Institute and I benefit from the incredible chances provided here for my own academic development.
History of science, technology, and medicine
Social and cultural history of late imperial/early modern China
The Social Lives of Drugs: Making, Circulating, and Consuming medicines in Late Imperial China
My dissertation follows the social life of drugs in late imperial China, specifically the process of making, circulating, and consuming that made the drugs meaningful. I will investigate the drugs as “fluid” objects, whose therapeutic value was constituted by the specific cultural system and social practices. Drugs in late imperial Chinese society, as I will demonstrate in the research, embody both the natural endowed curative potency and the transforming power of human labor. It transcends different social settings including pharmaceutical workshops, pharmacies, clinical encounters, and everyday health care practices, where its curative power was transformed, advertised, contested, and experienced. In this regard, the social life of drugs also illuminates the social life of the people and their entanglement with things — how did the practitioners and laypeople perceived and embodied the efficacy of drugs and its correlations with the human body? How did physicians and pharmacists make and prescribe drugs in light of the new knowledge about natural things and human diseases? How did people use the drugs as an everyday approach to tackle with health problems? How did practitioners and patients contest the usage of drugs in clinical settings? The answers to these questions can contribute to a deeper understanding of the medical culture and social conditions in late imperial China.
2017《皇明異典：明中期傳奉醫官的身分、遷轉與政治文化》，《歷史研究》2017年第3期，頁40-56. （“Reassignments, identity, and political culture: Medical Officials in Middle Ming Court”, Historical Research, no. 3 (2017): 40-56）
2015《醫與文，仕與隱：明初吳中醫者之形象與社會網絡》，《新史學》第26卷第1期，頁1-57. (“Confucian Identity and Social Interaction: Physicians in Early Ming Suzhou”, New History, 26, no. 1 (2015): 1-57)
2014《皮場廟的源流》，收入常建华主編：《中國社會歷史評論》第15卷，天津：天津古籍出版社，2014，頁22-38. (“The Temple of Pichang: Origin and Transitions.” in Chinese Social History Review, vol.15, edited by Chang Jianhua, 22-38. Tianjin: Tianjin Ancient Book Press, 2014)