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From Early Modern to Modern Sino-Japanese Medical Discourses
Volume Editor:
Based on several research seminars, the authors in this volume provide fresh perspectives of the intellectual and cultural history of East Asian medicine, 1550-1800. They use new sources, make new connections, and re-examine old assumptions, thereby interrogating whether and why European medical modernity is an appropriate standard for delineating the modern fate of East Asia’s medical classics. The unique importance of early modern Europe in the history of modern medicine should not be used to gloss over the equally unique and thus different developments in East Asia. Each paper offers an important contribution to understanding the dynamics of East Asian medicine, namely, the relationship between medical texts, medical practice, and practitioner identity. Furthermore, the essays in this volume are especially valuable for directing our attention to the movement of medical texts between different polities and cultures of early modern East Asia, especially China and Japan. Of particular interest are the interactions, similarities, and differences between medical thinkers across East Asia.
Contributors include: Susan Burns, Benjamin A. Elman, Asaf Goldschmidt, Angela KC Leung, Federico Marcon, MAYANAGI Makoto, Fabien Simonis, Daniel Trambaiolo, and Mathias Vigouroux.


This article is about the contested nature of "science" in "modern" China. The struggle over the meaning and significance of the specific types of natural studies brought by Protestants (1842-1895) occurred in a historical context in which natural studies in late imperial China were until 1900 part of a nativist imperial and literati project to master and control Western views on what constituted legitimate natural knowledge. After the industrial revolution in Europe, a weakened Qing government and its increasingly concerned Han Chinese and Manchu elites turned to "Western" models of science, medicine, and technology, which were disguised under the traditional terminology for natural studies. In the aftermath of the 1894-95 Sino-Japanese War, Chinese reformers, radicals, and revolutionaries turned to Japanese and Western science as an intellectual weapon to destroy the perceived backwardness of China. Until 1900, the Chinese had interpreted the transition from "Chinese science" to modern, universal scientific knowledge - and its new modes of industrial power - on their own terms. After 1900, the teleology of a universal and progressive "science" first invented in Europe replaced the Chinese notion that Western natural studies had their origins in ancient China, but this development was also challenged in the aftermath of World War One during the 1923 debate over "Science and the Philosophy of Life."

In: Historiography East and West
In: The 'Global' and the 'Local' in Early Modern and Modern East Asia
In: The 'Global' and the 'Local' in Early Modern and Modern East Asia
In: The 'Global' and the 'Local' in Early Modern and Modern East Asia
Volume Editor:
The authors consider new views of the classical versus vernacular dichotomy that are especially central to the new historiography of China and East Asian languages. Based on recent debates initiated by Sheldon Pollock’s findings for South Asia, we examine alternative frameworks for understanding East Asian languages between 1000 and 1919. Using new sources, making new connections, and re-examining old assumptions, we have asked whether and why East and SE Asian languages (e.g., Chinese, Manchu, Mongolian, Jurchen, Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese) should be analysed in light of a Eurocentric dichotomy of Latin versus vernaculars. This discussion has encouraged us to explore whether European modernity is an appropriate standard at all for East Asia. Individually and collectively, we have sought to establish linkages between societies without making a priori assumptions about the countries’ internal structures or the genealogy of their connections.
Contributors include: Benjamin Elman; Peter Kornicki; John Phan; Wei Shang; Haruo Shirane; Mårten Söderblom Saarela; Daniel Trambaiolo; Atsuko Ueda; Sixiang Wang.

In: Mapping Meanings