Webinar Series

Asian Medicine & the Social Dimensions of Epidemics

Part of the Health Humanities Speaker Series at Penn State University’s Abington College: “Asian Responses to COVID-19” (Feb 2021)

Combating Epidemics: A Historical Perspective
Yan Liu (University of Buffalo, SUNY)

Abstract: This talk examines a wide array of strategies developed by medical figures, religious practitioners, and political actors in fighting epidemics throughout Chinese history, and reflects upon how these varieties of measures could inform our contemporary thinking and handling of contagious diseases.

Bio: Yan Liu is an assistant professor in History at SUNY, Buffalo. He specializes in the cultural history of medicine in premodern China (the first millennium CE), with particular interests in the material culture of medicine, the history of the body and the senses, religious healing, and the global circulation of medical knowledge. His first book (open-access), Healing with Poisons: Potent Medicines in Medieval China, will be published by the University of Washington Press in June 2021.

Bypassing the Technocratic State in South Korea: Doctors Mobilizing Korean Medicine in the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020
James Flowers (Kyung Hee University) 

Abstract: The global media and politicians alike applaud the successful implementation of policies to crush the spread of the virus in South Korea, but do not acknowledge that traditional medicine doctors prescribing herbal medicines played an important role in that success.

Bio: James Flowers is a “Brain Pool Program” Research Fellow at Kyung Hee University, South Korea. He is an historian of medicine in East Asia focusing on Korea, and a Chinese medicine practitioner. He has a PhD in History of Medicine from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 

From the Gold Rush to COVID-19: Chinese Medicine as Healthcare for Diverse American Communities
Dr. Joshua Park (DSOM, AP)

Abstract: This talk explores the role of Chinese Medicine in epidemics through an examination of its history in the United States, with an emphasis on its role in promoting the health of communities of color.

Bio: Dr. Joshua Park (DSOM, AP) is a licensed Acupuncture Physician and board certified Chinese Herbalist. He graduated from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR, as one of the first in North America to receive a clinical doctorate in the field of Chinese Medicine. Dr. Park works in hospital settings across South Florida to provide integrative medical care for a variety of complex conditions.