I am a historian working at the boundaries of health, medicine, science, religion, and everyday life in modern China. I also have a track record in transcultural/global studies and have built up a profile in the history of global health. My research interests range from medicine and health intervention and delivery in modern China to nutrition, food, and narcotics, and more broadly the political history of the People’s Republic of China as well as questions of race and ethnicity.
My most recent book The People’s Health: Health Intervention and Delivery in Mao’s China, 1949–1983 (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2020) is the first systematic study on health care and medicine in Mao’s China. This study was funded by the European Commission Research Executive Agency. Capitalizing on previously unseen archival sources from across China AND extensive oral interviews with the participants at the expert and grassroots levels, it sets out to develop a nuanced understanding of the Chinese approach to health. It explores the processes through which the PRC’s health system was conceived and the political context in which they were—and could be—evaluated. This book contributes to global health policy debates concerning the importance of political commitment to health, sustained investment, access to health, the pursuit of community engagement, and action on the wider determinants of health. I also co-edited Disease, Religion and Healing in Asia: Convergence and Collisions (Routledge, 2015), a pioneering study that explores the diverse models of healing and their interplay with culture and religion in Asia.