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I am an historian of Chinese Medicine and Religion, with a focus first in the early Imperial period, and secondly in contemporary Taiwan, China and Han diasporic communities. I also have a clinical degree in Chinese medicine, and am interested in how healing practices bridge multiple personal, embodied and social dimensions.

I am currently writing a book on the emergence of medicine and religion as different but closely related fields of practice in early imperial China, provisionally titled Situating Practice: Medicine and Religion in Early Imperial China. I am also co-editing two other books, the Routledge Handbook of Chinese Medicine and Situating Medicine and Religion Across Asia. 

I am project lead on a Digital Humanities project titled Drugs Across Asia. This data-mines the Buddhist, Daoist and medical corpora for data concerning materia medica. This project combines text-marking, statistical analysis, network visualisation and GIS mapping to provide entirely new levels of analysis of pre-modern text corpora, showing the distribution of drug terms across time, space, and textual genre. It is a collaborative venture between the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, National Taiwan University and Dharma Drum Institute for Liberal Arts, with contributors from Fu-jen University, Taipei. The primary toolsets are DocuSky and MARKUS.

I also serve as a Vice-President of the International Association for the Study of Asian Medicine (IASTAM), a multi-disciplinary society including history, anthropology, ethno-botany, ethno-pharmacology, public health, clinical trials, and is the only society of its kind to include practitioners. We publish the journal Asian Medicine, host conferences, and are engaged in collaborative research as well as advocacy to global institutions such as the WHO, the Humboldt Forum, and the WHS.


My PhD in history is from University College London, where I studied at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine. I have an MA in East Asian Languages and Cultures from Indiana University, Bloomington, where I studied Daoism and Chinese religions. My BAHons in Philosophy and English Literature is from the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, UK and my clinical diploma in Chinese medicine is from Ruseto College, Boulder, Colorado. I also received a DiplAC from the National Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. I have held research positions at Academia Sinica, Taipei; the Needham Research Institute, Cambridge; the centre for Multiple Secularities at the University of Leipzig; and the Asian Studies Centre at the University of Pittsburgh.

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    IASTAM (Vice President)

    Michael Stanley-Baker

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