Responsable: Frank Muyard

École française d'Extrême-Orient
Institute of History and Philology
Academia Sinica, Nankang 11529
Tel: +886 2 2652 3177 / 2782 9555 #275
Fax: +886 2 2785 2035

Seminar : Lucia Candelise
10 JUNE 13
EFEO Taipei Seminar

Monday, June 10, 2013, at 3 pm

Room 701, Research Building, IHP, Academia Sinica

Department of History, National Tsing Hua University
SPHERE (Laboratory of Sciences, Philosophy, History), CNRS, France

Title :
The transfer of Chinese medical knowledge in France during the first half of the 20th century

The seminar will be chaired by Paola Calanca, Head of EFEO Taipei,
and Li Shang-jen, Associate Research Fellow of the IHP.

In collaboration with:
Research Group of the History of Health and Healing,
Thematic Research Program: Material Culture of Medicine, IHP, Academia Sinica

TEL: 02 27 82 95 55 #353   Email:

     Amid the wider context of a reflection on the social and geographical distribution of forms of medical knowledge, as well as of healthcare knowledge and practices, that originated from China and spread throughout the “West”, this presentation will focus on a particular aspect of this circulation, namely the influence that French diplomatic relations with China and the colonial presence in Vietnam (Indochina) had on it during the 20th century.
     To this end, we will consider the itinerary in France, Indochina and China of selected diplomats and physicians, asking what aspect of their training and experience have determined their outlook on the medical practices which they’ve witnessed during their stay in Asia.  We will present at least two figures representing this movement of knowledge: George Soulié de Morant, former diplomat in China, an expert in Chinese culture and first acupuncturist in France during the 20th century; Albert Chamfrault, a military physician in Indochina and acupuncturist in France, proponent of a medical knowledge based on the translation of ancient Chinese medical texts.
     By describing the itineraries of these two figures, we will show how a medical practice develops in France based on Chinese medicine that we could define as « French traditional acupuncture ».  We’ll also show how the characteristics of these medical knowledge and technique allow us to define the practice of acupuncture in France as a medicine which is « other » from conventional Western medicine.