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Jinping Ma


Nation, Medicine and Mind: Mental Hygiene Promotion in Republican Shanghai

Supervisors: Professor Mathew Thomson and Professor Anne Gerritsen.

First Year Supervisor: Howard Chiang

This thesis focuses on the encounter of ‘Western’ knowledge of psychiatry and psychology with Chinese culture and its locality in Republican Shanghai, the Chinese medical center of its day. With an expectation of eliminating traditional backwardness and cultivating modern citizens, intellectuals began to explore ways of building a stronger nation, reflected in strong bodies and minds. Thus, knowledge and practices about psychiatry, psychology, and mental hygiene were introduced, debated, tested and propagated in the literate circle as well as by the masses. A wide range of participants (like educators, psychologists, psychiatrists, publishers, or governmental officers) were involved in corresponding activities like institutionalizing patients, educational reform and the Mental Hygiene Movements. These tumultuous activities had been intertwined with cultural revolution, nationalism as well as warfare.

The care of mental health recorded the history of knowledge transmission approaches employed by intellectuals who sought out new knowledge, 'scientific' and ‘unscientific‘, to cope with cultural conflicts and foreign critics while drawing support from the big mass. In spite of China's disadvantageous status in a semi-colonial context and initiatives of Chinese intellectuals, knowledge transmission was not simply unilateral and not to be taken for granted. On the contrary, selectivity, conflicts, compromise and integration failure was encountered often or more. Traditional cognition and philosophy were criticized and actually targeted by those trends, but exerted underlying influences when 'Western' knowledge was transmitted to the masses.

  • Sino-foreign Relations (History of Modern China, Pacific Rim, and China-Inner Asia)
  • Transcultural Knowledge Transmission and Locality
  • History of Medicine and Technology (Psychiatry, Anti-psychiatry, Psychology, Mental Health, other Therapies and Philosophy related to Mental Health Care)
  • Public Health (Kinship, Culture and Mental Health), Medicine and Health Exhibition in the Public Sphere
  • Ph.D., History of Medicine, Warwick University, UK, 2015-2019

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

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

Thesis: Native Contributions to the Royalty: The Tributary System and Local Control in Ming China

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

Thesis: Non-core Area: The Topographical Advantages of Henan in the Ming Dynasty

  • China Talk: Culture without Border, China Development Society, University of Warwick, 31 October 2019. CDS Talk  CDS PPT
  • Hosting Reading Lunch of Center of the History of Medicine, Warwick University, 2016-2017.