UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI CHINESE STUDIES invites to this lecture by historian of medicine, Harry Yi-Jui Wu.
Entering the post-pandemic era, historians of medicine have found themselves much more ciritcal in informing current global health theories and practices. For example, Cueto et al. (2019) have recently examined political and historical processes of the World Health Organization, in which international organizations discovered their role caught up within shifting power of international relations. Charters et al. (2021) proposed to study environmental, societal, historical, logistical, and diplomatic factors countering the conventional linear narrative of pandemics. More recently, the field of Global Health Humanities (Hassan et al., 2022) have surfaced to invite more disciplinary approaches to examine how developing knowledge of health and diseases are impacted by various global health priorities, social systems and cultural expectations. In this presentation, I draw examples from my previous research to position Taiwan in these emerging critics. These examples include Taiwan’s function in Japan’s colonial health governance, its arm’s-length participation in the World Health Organization after World War II, its decades-long tradition in health diplomacy, and its efforts to demonstrate healthcare capacity along the newly fangled New Southbound Policy. I offer different perspectives to reappraise Taiwan’s role in the history of global health against the backdrop of disorganized world order and the tortuous East Asian geopolitics. Such understanding will become pivotal for global health practitioners in “the world” to outstrip their constrained imagination about Taiwan, and for those from Taiwan to contribute to the global effort to alleviate human suffering.
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University of Helsinki, China studies
Room U4072, Main Building, University of Helsinki