Call for Participants: Advanced Training Workshop on “Humanities, Social Sciences and Medicine in East Asia: Interdisciplinary Approaches”

Call For Applications

We are pleased to announce a call for participants in an August 2016 Advanced Interdisciplinary Training Workshop in Tianjin:

Humanities, Social Sciences and Medicine in East Asia: Interdisciplinary Approaches

Theme for 2016: “Medical knowledge in practice, Medical practice as knowledge”
Held at Nankai University, Tianjin, from August 1-7, 2016
Application deadline: April 1, 2016
Graduate students and junior scholars are invited to apply to participate in an interdisciplinary advanced training workshop on the theme of “Medical knowledge in practice, Medical practice as knowledge.” This workshop is the second in a two-year program of workshops on humanities and social science approaches to understanding medicine in East Asia, jointly organized and sponsored by the Harvard-Yenching Institute, the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Hong Kong (香港大學), the Institute of Medical Humanities and Centre for History of Medicine at Peking University (北京大學) , and the Key Research Institute of Social History of China at Nankai University (南開大學). The training workshop will be conducted in English at Nankai University, Tianjin, on August 1-7, 2016.
Medicine is a body of knowledge inseparable from philosophy, cosmology and religion. It is also a system of practices framed by social structures and economic forces, and dependent on material objects such as plants, minerals, instruments, and the physical body. How does medical knowledge generate practice, and practice inform knowledge? How does the interplay between the two differ in history, and in different cultures? What can a medical case history, or a particular drug reveal about knowledge and practice in a cultural context? This training workshop will encompass historical and contemporary perspectives, highlighting the relevance of medicine to humanities and social science analyses of East Asia and facilitating creative conversations among young researchers under the guidance of leading scholars in medical history. The participating senior faculty will be:
  • Angela Leung 梁其姿 (The University of Hong Kong)
  • Xinzhong Yu 余新忠 (Nankai University)
  • Daqing Zhang 張大慶 (Peking University)
  • Shigehisa Kuriyama 栗山茂久 (Harvard University)
  • Gianna Pomata (Johns Hopkins University)
  • Jeremy Greene (Johns Hopkins University)
The workshop will accept 20 participants who are either: 1) graduate students currently enrolled in a doctoral program in a recognized university, or 2) junior scholars who have received their Ph.D. degree after May 1, 2011. Applications will be accepted from graduate students and junior scholars anywhere in the world, but we expect that the majority of selected participants will be current Ph.D. students from Asian universities. The workshop will cover the participants’ room and board, and help subsidize their travel to Tianjin.
After the workshop, participants will be invited to submit a revised research statement to the Harvard-Yenching Institute incorporating the insights that they have gained. One or two of the most outstanding applicants may be selected as visiting scholars supported for a one-year fellowship at the Harvard-Yenching Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Applicants should submit the following materials:
  1. A statement in English of no more than 800 words, explaining the applicant’s research interests and their relationship to the workshop theme.
  2. A short video (maximum three-minutes) of the applicant speaking in English about the nature and importance of his or her research; this may be as simple as a self-recorded video captured with a computer webcam. Please use avi, mp4, or wmv format exported and compressed to a maximum of 100 MB.
  3. A one-page CV, with basic information about education, employment (if any), and main publications.
  4. One recommendation letter from the student’s principal advisor (not required for junior scholars who have already obtained their Ph.D.).
Applications should be submitted online at: by 5 PM, April 1, 2016 (Eastern Time). Applicants will be notified of the results of the application review by the beginning of May, 2016.

For any questions or queries about the advanced training program or application procedures, please send an email to

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