Features

Beyond Miracles: How Traditional Chinese Medicine Establishes Professional Legitimacy in Post-colonial Macau

[Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article appeared in Imponderabilia: The International Student Anthropology Journal (2014). This piece is updated with new data and photos collected between 2015 and 2016.]

In Search of Reclusive Doctors (xunzhao yin shi yishu) was the first Chinese TV documentary about medical miracles “made” by doctors of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). When …

BooksFeatures

Sonya E. Pritzker’s Living Translation: Language and the Search for Resonance in U.S. Chinese Medicine

living-translation-coverLiving Translation: Language and the Search for Resonance in U.S. Chinese Medicine

by Sonya E. Pritzker

Berghahn Books, 2014, 228 pages

 

Chinese medicine names at least five components to the spiritual part of the embodied self, corresponding to each of the five organ-systems. The shen-spirit is associated with the heart, the yi-spirit with the spleen, po with …

Features

Desires: Capitalism, The Pope and Chinese Medicine

This article is part of the series:

Prologue: Pope Francis and Zhang Taiyan 章太炎

On 16 June 2015, Pope Francis published Laudato Si’ (Be Praised), an encyclical letter on climate change tellingly subtitled “On Care for Our Common Home.” The encyclical links the destruction of the environment with the exploitation of the poor, and it unambiguously roots both in capitalism’s pernicious gluttony [10]. In the Pope’s analysis, …

Features

Emptiness and the Medical Encounter: The interior spatial requirements of encountering

This article is part of the series:

Thirty spokes converge in a hub
There where there is nothing,
That is the chariot’s usefulness.
Fashion earth to make a vase from it,
There where there is nothing,
That is the vessel’s usefulness

– Lao Zi

Emptiness…makes it possible to move about freely and succeeds in ‘letting pass’. The important thing is not to determine ‘what’ passes – assuming

Features

Magic Words: A Numbered List

This article is part of the series:

  1. Boundary
  2. Biǎo 表
  3. Interiorization (Inclusion)
  4. The Fold
  5. Emptiness
  6. Pathway
  7. Tōng
  8. Media/Medium
  9. Resonance
  10. Excess
  11. Immunity/Community


1. Boundary

Boundary is such a common-sense concept that it hardly needs to be glossed. Indeed, the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary flirts with tautology in its obviousness: “that which serves to indicate the bounds or limits of anything….” …

Features

Introduction: “Translating Vitalities: Spacecraft(ing)”

This article is part of the series:

Medical practice treats the body as an active field. Growth, pathology, healing, immune response, digestion, atrophy, arousal, pain, panic – none of these organic processes is stable, fixed, or indeed ‘a thing’; yet, they are all objects of interest for medicine. Medical intervention, whether it takes the form of an antibiotic or an acupuncture treatment, interrupts a flow of causes …