NEW DATE! Scholars@Hallwalls: Yan Liu, “Use poison to attack poison: Medicine, illness, and society in early imperial China”
February 1 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
How does medicine help us understand society? Using Chinese medicine as an example, my talk shows the conception of illness and the therapeutic rationale of deploying poisons in first-millennium China. Liu identifies a striking parallel: Just like doctors’ use of potent drugs to eliminate malign entities out of a physical body, the state established stringent policies to expel poisoners, especially women poisoners, to remedy a social body. The medical use of poisons in China, therefore, reveals the far-reaching repercussions of the ideas of illness and therapy in social imagination and political ruling.
Yan Liu, Assistant Professor of History, obtained his PhD in History of Science at Harvard University in 2015. He specializes in the history of Chinese medicine, with a particular interest in the history of pharmacology, religious healing, and the exchange of medical knowledge in the global context. He is currently completing a book manuscript that explores the medical use of poisons in classical Chinese pharmacy. His future projects include the history of food in China and the circulation of aromatics (saffron, camphor, etc.) across Eurasia.
Join us at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center for our eighth year of Faculty Fellows talks! This lecture series brings current UB humanities research out into the community – with complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres. Free and open to the public.