Chang Xu

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, Washington University in St. Louis

2022 to 2023
Research Fellow

Medicine on the March: Military Institutions, Medical Networks, and Qing Empire, 1640-1800

This project explores medical practices in Qing military institutions during the period of imperial expansion to Inner Asia (1640-1800), and reframes medicine and medical encounters within the context of Qing imperialism, transregional connectivity, and empire building. It investigates garrisons stationed in the northern frontier of Qing China that mobilized multi-ethnic medical practitioners and medicinal objects across regions as they transformed the newly subjugated territories into part of the familiar sphere of Qing rule. By drawing attention to three layers of relations that constitute medical governance—1) state and medicine, 2) center and frontier, and 3) military and civil society—this project recalibrates the relationship between the imperial center and organized medicine in late imperial China, and shows how medicine reveals a porous boundary between the military and civil spheres that medical matters continuously crossed.