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Distributed for National University of Singapore Press

Translating the Body

Medical Education in Southeast Asia

Until recently, receiving a European or North American-style medical education in Southeast Asia was a profoundly transformative experience, as western conceptions of the body differed significantly from indigenous knowledge and explanations. Further, conceptions of the human body had to be translated into local languages and related to vernacular views of health, disease, and healing. Translating the Body is the first book to present the history of biomedical education across Southeast Asia. The contributors chart and analyze the organization of western medical education in Southeast Asia, public health education campaigns in the region, and the ways in which practitioners of what came to be conceived of as “traditional medicine” in many Southeast Asian countries organized themselves in response.

368 pages | 25 halftones | 6 x 9

History of Medicine in Southeast Asia

Asian Studies: Southeast Asia and Australia


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An interesting, some-times quirky, and extremely informative volume which examines key themes of colonization and medical education, health citizenship and professional authority, and the role of interactions between different (and often competing) health systems in shaping the health of the population.”

Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity

 "The sheer breadth of the contributions, which bridge trans-Atlantic divides in scholarship and consolidate insights available only in vernacular language works, is a signal strength of the volume. . . . The NUS Press Series is a testament to the good health of professional circles centered on the History of Medicine in Southeast Asia.”

Bulletin of the History of Medicine

In Translating the Body the editors bring together 11 essays, which, together with their own wide-ranging overview, add materially to our understanding of disease and health across Southeast Asia and present fresh insights and invigorating analysis that merit further consideration for this region and beyond. . . . [This book] makes a significant contribution to medical history, opens up a rich regional prospectus, and demonstrates the value of nuanced local studies.”

Pacific Affairs

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