Academic Profile : Faculty

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Asst Prof Michael Stanley-Baker
Assistant Professor, School of Humanities
Assistant Professor, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
External Links
I am an historian of Chinese Medicine and Religion, with a focus first in the early Imperial period, and secondly in contemporary Taiwan, China and Han diasporic communities. I also have a clinical degree in Chinese medicine. I am interested in the ways in which medicine and religion converge, and the ways in which moderns adapt traditional practices. I study these through close reading, participant interview, and digital humanities.

I completed my PhD at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London, after an MA in East Asian Languages and Cultures from Indiana University, Bloomington, where I studied Daoism and Chinese religions. I have held research positions at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin; Academia Sinica, Taipei; the Needham Research Institute, Cambridge; the KFG for Multiple Secularities at Leipzig University and the Asian Studies Centre at the University of Pittsburgh.

My research has been funded by the Singapore National Heritage Board, Singapore Ministry of Education, the Taiwan Ministry of Education, Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, the Henry Luce/ACLS Foundation, the Chiang-ching Kuo Foundation, the Berlin Centre for the History of Knowledge, and the Wellcome Trust among others.

My forthcoming monograph examines the emergence of medicine and religion as different but related fields of practice in early imperial China. It is provisionally titled Situating Practice: Medicine and Religion in Early Imperial China. I am co-editor of two books: the Routledge Handbook of Chinese Medicine and Medicine and Religion Across Asia. I have also published special issues and conference volumes with Asian Medicine, East Asian Science Technology and Medicine, and the Pacific Neighbourhood Consortium.

My Digital Humanities work, Medicine Across Asia, combines a number of sub-projects:
"DAOBUDMED6D" data-mines Buddhist, Daoist and medical corpora, generates text-critical digital markups of early sources, and innovative applications with that data. This work has been in collaboration with National Taiwan University, the Max Planck Institute for History of Science, and Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts.

"Polyglot Medical Traditions in Southeast Asia" produces digitised, searchable manuscripts as well as a multi-lingual drug name database, based on principles of linked data.

I serve as Vice-President of the International Association for the Study of Asian Medicine (IASTAM), which publishes the journal Asian Medicine, and hold continued affiliations at the Kolleg Forschungsgruppe for Multiple Secularities at the University of Leipzig and the China Centre for Health and Humanity at University College London.

Chinese Medicine
Chinese Religions
Digital Humanities
Medical Anthropology
Chinese Literature and History
Asian Medicines
  • Linking History, Botany, Traditional medicines and Biomedicine
  • Polyglot medical Heritage in Maritime Southeast Asia: Foundational Resources and Digital Tools
  • Situating Medicine, Religion and Materia Medica in China and Beyond