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Grant number: FEL-257723-18

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FEL-257723-18

Marta E. Hanson
Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD 21218-2625)

The Healer's Body as a Form of Technology in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Reasearch and writing leading to publication of a book on technologies of diagnosis and healing in traditional Chinese medicine.

For my NEH funded project, I plan to complete a book on the healer’s body in Chinese medicine from antiquity to the end of the mid eighteenth century. By shifting focus from the patient’s to the healer’s body, I demonstrate how Chinese physicians instrumentalized their bodies as medical instruments, calculating devices, and mnemonic aids in their pre-modern world before medical instruments became external to the healer’s body, calculators took over higher-order math once done with our brains, and computers became repositories for the memory we once held in our minds. They also used their body-as-technology through time-keeping breathing techniques, purification rituals, and personal comportment to be more therapeutically effective and make themselves more trustworthy, morally upright, and socially acceptable vis-à-vis their competitors for their patients. This study contributes to the history of the body and bodily arts of memory, prognostication, and being in Chinese medicine.

Project fields:
East Asian History; History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Medicine; History of Science

Program:
Fellowships

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2019 – 12/31/2019