Beijing Harper Lecture: Sorting China’s Many Medicines with Judith Farquhar

2:00–3:30 pm
St. Regis Hotel


On April 23, 2017, approximately 60 alumni, students, academics and other friends assembled at the St. Regis Hotel for a talk by Judith Farquhar, Max Palevsky Professor Emerita in Anthropology and Faculty Director of the University of Chicago Center in Beijing.

Professor Farquhar's talk, which drew extensively on her own field work, explored the question of how local healers, minority historians, ethnic activists and local health department leaders in China enthusiastically producing new technologies concerning disease, therapies, bodies and medical social relations. The talk was enhanced with a diverse selection of photos from many regions of China in which the many systems of traditional medicine are being used, studied and further developed.

Since the early 2000's, when the national government began to encourage the development of minority nationality medicine, China has seen an explosion of new--and old--medical systems. Professor Farquhar discussed recent developments and prospects for further development and possible integration in the future.

Professor Farquhar was introduced by alumnus Ben Yang, and the talk was followed by a short talk by Paul Wang, President of the University of Chicago Alumni Club. The program concluded with a lively question and answer period followed by a reception.