MRI Forum 30
"Chinese Medicine and Epidemic Diseases ― some lectures from the past"
by Dominique Buchillet
According to historical and medical records, epidemic diseases exerted a wide tribute on South Chinese populations in the past. Drawing on archival records and medical texts, this presentation intends to review the evolution of medical discourse and practice on them through the ages. The importance attributed to abnormal climatic conditions in the emergence of infectious and epidemic diseases as well as the impact of epidemic outbreaks in reshaping Chinese medical discourse will be notably stressed. It will illustrate also how medical theories and practices erected three centuries ago are always of actuality in the context of emerging diseases such as, for example, HIV/AIDS, SARS or avian flu.
Profile of the Speaker
Dominique Buchillet is a medical anthropologist and a researcher at the French Institute of Research for Development (IRD – Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, France). She has worked many years with indigenous peoples of Brazilian Amazon on shamanism, traditional medicines and epidemics and has published on these themes in English, French and Portuguese languages. As a member of a multidisciplinary research unit on emerging diseases, she is presently doing researches on epidemics in the past in South China and Thailand as well as on traditional Chinese and Thai medicines and infectious diseases.