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TJ Hinrichs Hinrichs

Associate Professor

Office: 452 McGraw Hall
Phone: 607-254-1694
Fax: 607-255-0469

Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday: 3:30-4:30; By appointment

Research and Teaching Interests

A central thread running through my research and teaching is the investigation of connections between intimate experiences such as illness and personal transformation; communal practices such as medical training and religious rites; and broader historical shifts such as the consolidation of the civil service examination system, commercialization and urbanization, the spread of printing, and the development of landscape painting. My courses explore China's history from its classical to its modern periods ("Vitality and Power in China," "Medicine and Healing in China"), sometimes concentrating on the imperial era ("Imperial China"), the early and medieval periods ("Daoist Traditions") or the late imperial period ("Popular Culture in China," "Society and Religion in China," "China's Early Modern"), and sometimes looking at China and Japan in comparative perspective ("East Asian Martial Arts").

My research to date has focused on the folding of medicine into social reform policies in the Song period (960-1279 C.E.), and the ramifications of that process for political culture and for medical practice. Currently, I am examining the emergence in the eleventh and twelfth centuries of a new positive valuation of the chaotic and even contentious activity of urban market life. This sensibility constituted an imagination of social space that ran against the grain of classical political economies' static social hierarchies, and presented a sharp counterpoint to literati aesthetics of sublime tranquility and refined rusticity.

Ding Xiang Warner (Asian Studies) and I co-organize the Cornell Classical Chinese Colloquium (CCCC), a reading group for scholars interested in Chinese studies. At each session a volunteer presents a text in classical Chinese. Attendees discuss historical, literary, linguistic, and all other aspects of the text, and work together to resolve difficulties in comprehension and translation. Presentations include works of all sorts, from the earliest times to the twentieth century. All are welcome, at any level of experience with classical Chinese. No preparation is necessary for non-presenting participants, and texts are distributed at the meeting. We usually meet on Fridays, from 4:00 to around 6:00. You can find announcements for CCCC on the East Asia Program or Society for the Humanities calendars of events. Email me if you would like more information, or would like to receive email announcements.


For more information and links to current courses, go to: History's Courses Page



Ph.D. Harvard University, 2003
A.M. Harvard University, 1988
A.B. Harvard College, 1984



Chinese Medicine and Healing: An Illustrated History. Co-edited with Linda Barnes. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2013. Contributions: "Introduction" (with Linda Barnes), "A Late Han Adept," "Chapter Four: The Song and Jin Periods."

Glossary available at (1) Click on the book title, 2) at the next screen, click on the tab "Data and Analysis"; 3) click link for pdf download.)

Currently being translated into simplified Chinese for publication by Zhejiang University Press (Hangzhou).

Shamans, Witchcraft, and Quarantine: The Medicalizing of Transformative Governance and Southern Customs in Song China (under revision for the Harvard East Asia Series).


"Unwritten Life (and Death) of a 'Pharmacist' in Song China: Decoding Hancheng Tomb Murals." Co-authored with Jeehee Hong, Cahier d’extrême Asie (journal of École française d'Extrême-Orient).

“The Catchy Epidemic: Theorization and its Limits in Han to Song Period Medicine,“ East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine, [Forthcoming].

"Yiru yiyi de Zhang Gao" ("Zhang Gao [1189 C.E.] as Scholar and as Physician"). Zhongguo shehui lishi pinglun (Chinese Social History Review) (2013), 14:65-76.

“Ishi ni kimareta shohosen“ (Formularies Inscribed on Stone). Bunka to toshi: Ningbo (Cultural Cities: Ningbo). Ed., Hayasaka Toshihiro (To Ajia kaiiki ni kogidasu (Rowing out into the East Asian Seas) 2). Tokyo: Tokyo University Press, 2013.

"Sekkoku to mokuhan: Chihou fuzoku ni tai suru huhen teki iryo to gishiki" (Stone Inscriptions and Wood Blocks: Posing Ecumenical Medicine and Ritual Against Local Customs). Trans., Yoshida Mayumi In Ishibumi to chihoshi no aakaibuzu wo saguru (Explorations of Stelae and Gazetteer Archives). Ed., Sue Takashi. Pp. 53-79. Tokyo: Kyuko shoten, 2012.

“Governance through Medical Texts and the Role of Print.“ In Knowledge and Text Production in an Age of Print: China, 900-1400, 217-238. Eds. Lucille Chia and Hilde de Weerdt. Leiden: Brill, 2011.

“New Geographies of Chinese Medicine.” Osiris, Beyond Joseph Needham:  Science, Technology, and Medicine in East and Southeast Asia.  Ed. Morris F. Low.  2nd Series, (1998), 13:287-325.  State of the field article.

Encyclopedia Articles:

“Healing and Medicine in China.”  In The Encyclopedia of Religion, Second Edition.  Vol. 6.  Ed., Lindsay Jones.  New York:  Macmillan, 2004.  Pp. 3859-3864.

“Gli aspetti sociali della produzione medica” (The social production of medical knowledge [Song-Yuan (960-1368)]).  In Storia della scienza.  Ed. Sandro Petruccioli.  Vol. II, Cina, India, Americhe.  Ed. Karine Chemla, et. al.  Rome:  Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, 2001.  Pp. 410-420.

Curriculum Materials:

Expanding East Asian Studies, Columbia University

Teaching Unit: East Asian Martial Arts: Historical Development, Modernization, and Globalization

Teaching Unit: "Chinese" Perspectives on Identity Before the Nation

Reading Resource: Discourses of Southern Deviance

Fall 2013-Winter 2014: Visiting Fellow, The Templeton Science and Religion in East Asia Project, Science Culture Research Center, Seoul National University

Interview with co-editor Linda Barnes with Carla Nappi, New Books in East Asian Studies

Chinese Medicine and Science (Asaf Goldschmidt, Tel Aviv University)

Chinese Medicine Discussion List (for scholarship on the history and anthropology of Chinese medicine; for information or to join, email Hilary Smith,

Chinese Science and Medicine (Nathan Sivin, University of Pennsylvania)

East Asian Medicine (Volker Scheid, University of Westminster)

History of Medicine and Culture in China (Marta Hanson, The Johns Hopkins University)