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Neither Donkey nor HorseMedicine in the Struggle over China's Modernity$
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Sean Hsiang-lin Lei

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226169880

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226169910.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Neither Donkey nor Horse

Sean Hsiang-lin Lei

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 1 introduces the central puzzle of the book: How was Chinese medicine transformed from an antithesis of modernity in the early twentieth century into a potent symbol for China’s exploration of its own modernity half a century later? To answer this question, this book strives to go beyond the conventional framework of dual history, that is, a clear-cut separation between the modern history of Chinese medicine and that of Western medicine in China. Far from being a “remnant” of pre-modern China, Chinese medicine co-evolved with Western medicine and the Nationalist state, undergoing a profound transformation that qualified it to be recognized as modern Chinese Medicine. While this newly created modern Chinese medicine was stigmatized by its opponents as a mongrel form of medicine that was “neither donkey nor horse” it helped to shape the notion of modernity that came to be historically realized in China, that is, China’s modernity.

Keywords:   Chinese Medicine, modernity, Western medicine, nationalist state, China’s modernity, mongrel medicine, hybridity

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