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Prof Vivienne Lo
23 Gordon Square, G03
History Department
Gower Street
Tel: 2076793605
Prof Vivienne Lo profile picture
  • Professor of Chinese History
  • Dept of History
  • Faculty of S&HS

Director: UCL China Centre for Health and Humanity.  Senior Lecturer: History Department. Visiting Professor: Peking University Health Sciences Centre (2015-20). Visiting Professor, Institute of Archaeology, Chengdu College of TCMHonorary Consultant, World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (2019) Fellow, Institute of Health and Human Development, University of East London 2008-2012. Honorary Board Member: IASTAM. Founder Editor/Editorial Board, Asian Medicine: tradition and modernity. 2001-10 Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine/Lecturer/Senior Lecturer. 1998 Research Fellow, China Academy of Social Sciences, Centre for the Study of Bamboo and Silk Books, Beijing. 1998-2001 Wellcome Fellow, SOAS. 1993-98: Phd SOAS. 1987-91: Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge Part 1 (1st); SOAS BA (1st class Hons). 1977-79 PA to Managing Director: Fund for Research into Developing Africa, Africa Centre. 1975-7 PA Accounts Virgin Records (Holdings)

Research Summary

In recent decades there has been a revolution in the field of research into both early and mediaeval Chinese medicine, partly driven by texts and artefacts recovered from tombs and other repositories. I have translated and analysed manuscript texts excavated from a tomb in Hubei ( sealed ca. 186 BC), that describe an early phase in the development of acupuncture, and therapeutic exercise. Manuscripts recovered from a Buddhist library on the Silk Road and archived mainly at the British Library and BNF Paris provide another vantage point from which to consider issues of continuity and change in medical cultures over a millennia or more. I have also created an on-line database of early Chinese medical imagery, and have published widely on the subject. More recent interests include the transmission and translation of medical texts from China to late medieval Persia. Current book projects include a history of food and medicine in China.

Teaching Summary

UG Courses: History of Asian Medicine (since 2002); Ancient and Medieval China (survey course since 2013)

MA courses: Classical Chinese (since 2002); Chinese Film and the Body (since 2012); An Interdisciplinary Approach to Chinese Health and Humanity (since 2012)

Convenor: MA Programme China Health and Humanity (since 2012)

Supervision: David Dear (Self Cultivation and Identity in China); Penelope Barrett (Translating Medical Worlds: Bernard Emms Read); Nashuyuan Serenity Wang (Cinema of Dislocation); Yang YI (History of FEA)

Second Supervisor: Marianne Datiles (Pharmacy); Zhou Dangwei (German); Christina Lee (KCL)


Michael Stanley-Baker 2012 (Doctors and Daoists: the role of medicine in Six dynasties Shangqing Daoism); Theresia Hofer 2011 (Tibetan Medicine on the Margins); Nancy Holroyde Downing (The Mysteries of Tongue Diagnosis); Tyler Pham (Anthropology); Dolly Yang (Daoyin Exercises in Zhubing yuanhou lun); Di Lu (The Transnational History of the Caterpillar Fungus)

Academic Background
1998   Doctor of Philosophy School of Oriental and African Studies
1991   Bachelor of Arts (Honours) School of Oriental and African Studies
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