EAS Speaker Series: Michael Shiyung Liu

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“Cold War Medicine in East Asia”
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
12 – 1:30 pm
Mergenthaler 266

Michael Shiyung Liu received his Ph.D. title in 2000 from the University of Pittsburgh. He has been Visiting Scholar at National Yokoham University, Harvard-Yenching Scholar, Visiting Professor of Chun-Chiu Lecture at Oregon State University, EU Erasmus Mundus Masters Scholar, and Senior Researcher at the Center of Historical Research, Ohio State University. Michael is currently a Research Fellow/ Professor of the Institute of Taiwan History and Joint Research Fellow of the Research Center of Humanity and Social Science, Academia Sinica. He has published Prescribing Colonization: the Role of Medical Practice and Policy in Japan-Ruled Taiwan, Katana and Lancet: The Transformation, Assimilation and Diffusion of Western Medicine in Japan (in Chinese) along with 40 plus articles. Prof. Liu’s research covers topics of Japanese colonial medicine, East Asian history of public health in the 20th century, and East Asian environmental history. Currently he is doing research at JHU on the international health network in Cold War East Asia between 2016 and 2017.

East Asia has been an Arc de Triomphe in the history of American aid during the post-WWII era. The aim of this study is to lay the foundation for understanding the role of American medical aid in transforming medical profession and epidemiology in East Asia during the Cold War decades. America’s emergence as a global superpower transformed state-foundation relations in profound ways. This shift in international health was also evident in the creation in 1948 of the World Health Organization. WHO under American influence, especially after the establishment of WHO’s Regional Office for the Western Pacific (WPRO) soon replaced the function of the Rockefeller Foundations and other agencies of international health in the region. This research will demonstrate the entanglement of American medical aid with international politics in East Asia. This project aims to provoke discussion about the nature of American medicine in Cold War East Asia, what constitutes an international relationship in global health, and whether we can consider transnational medical projects in the post-WWII period as a Cold War version of colonial medicine.