Skip to main content

Jinping Ma 马金平


Mind, Nation and Medicine: Mental Health Care in Republican Shanghai

Supervisors: Professor Mathew Thomson and Professor Anne Gerritsen.

My current research focuses on the encounter of “Western” knowledge of psychiatry and psychology with Chinese culture and its locality in Republican Shanghai. With an expectation of eliminating traditional backwardness and cultivating modern citizens, intellectuals began to explore ways of building a stronger nation reflecting in strong body and mind. Thus, knowledge and practices about psychiatry, psychology and mental health were introduced, debated, tested and propagated in literate circle as well as the big mass. A wide range of participants (like educators, psychologist, psychiatrist, publishers, or governmental officers etc.) were involved in corresponding activities like institutionalization, educational reformation and mental hygiene movement. These tumultuous activities resonated with cultural revolution, nationalism as well as warfares.

Thus, the care of mental problems and health recorded a history of knowledge trasmission approaches employed by intellectuals who sought for new knowledge, 'scientific' and ‘unscientific‘, to coping with cultural conflicts and foerign critics while drawing support from the big mass. In spite of China's disadvantageous status in a semi-colonial context and initiative of Chinese intellectuals, knowledge transmission is not simply unilateral and not for grant. On the contrary, selectivity, conflicts, compromise and intergration failure were encountered often or more. Traditional cognition and philosophy were criticized and actually targeted by those trends but exerted underlying influences when 'Western' knowledge was to meet with the mass.

  • History of Modern China
  • Sino-foreign Relations (Pacific-Asia and China-Inner Asia)
  • Transcultural Knowledge Tranmission
  • History of Medicine (Psychiatry, Psychology and Mental Health) and Technology
  • Public Health (kinship, culture and mental health)
  • Anti-psychiatry
  • Asian Philosphy and Mental Health, other therapies related to mental health care
  • Ph.D., History of Medicine, Warwick University, UK, October 2015-Present

Funded by: Warwick-CSC Joint Scholarship, 2015-2018

  • M.A., Geographical History, Xiamen University, China, 2014

Thesis: Local Contribution to Ming Royalty: A Reveal of Reduction of Local Control
Award: Excellent Graduate & Excellent Student Leader & Excellent Thesis & Postgraduate Fellowship

  • B.A., History, Xiamen University, China, 2011.

Thesis: Non-core Area: The Topographical Advantages of Henan in Ming Dynasty
Award: Societe Generale Scholarship & Excellent Student Leader

  • Department of History & CHM research support funding (2016-2018)