Academic Profile

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 project, titled Medicine Across Asia, combines a number of sub-projects:
"DAOBUDMED6D" data-mines the Buddhist, Daoist and medical corpora for data concerning materia medica, and generates text-critical digital markups of early sources, and demonstrates innovative applications with that data. I work closely with National Taiwan University, the Max Planck Institute for History of Science, and Dharm 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. IASTAM is a multi-disciplinary society including history, anthropology, ethno-botany, ethno-pharmacology, public health, clinical trials, and is the only society of its kind to include practitioners.

I also hold continued research affiliations as Senior Research Fellow at the Kolleg Forschungsgruppe for Multiple Secularities at the University of Leipzig and as an associate of the China Centre for Health and Humanity at University College London.

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Asst Prof Michael Stanley-Baker
Assistant Professor, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
Assistant Professor, School of Humanities

Chinese Medicine
Chinese Religions
Digital Humanities
Medical Anthropology
Chinese Literature and History
Asian Medicines
  • Materia Medica in early Imperial China: A Digital Humanities Approach to tracking historical flows of Drug Knowledge

  • Polyglot medical Heritage in Maritime Southeast Asia: Foundational Resources and Digital Tools

  • Situating Medicine, Religion and Materia Medica in China and Beyond
  • Michael Stanley-Baker.(2019). Health and Philosophy in Pre- and Early Imperial China. In Adamson, Peter(Ed), Health: A history(7-42). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Miguel Escobar Varela, Andrea Nanetti, Michael Stanley-Baker,.(2019). Digital Humanities in Singapore. In Shun-han Rebekah, Wong Haipeng, Li Min, Chou(Ed), Digital Humanities and Scholarly Research Trends in the Asia-Pacific(91-117). Hershey: IGI Global.

  • Michael Stanley-Baker (徐源). (2018). Daoist Buddhist Medical Corpus for Six Dynasties (DaoBudMed6D). Research Center for Digital Humanities, National Taiwan University.

  • Zhang Ruixian, Wang Jiacai, Michael Stanley-Baker.(2018). The Earliest Stone Medical Inscription. In Vivienne Lo(Ed), Imaging Chinese MedicineLeiden: Brill.

  • Vivienne Lo, Michael Stanley-Baker.(2018). Chinese Medicine .. A Global History of MedicineOxford: Oxford University Press.