“The Medical, Religious, and Diplomatic Travels of Tuệ Tĩnh 慧靖”

One Asia Forum Talk Series

The Medical, Religious, and Diplomatic Travels of Tuệ Tĩnh 1

With guest speaker Professor C. Michele Thompson (Southern Connecticut State University)

Thursday, 22 September, 2016
4:00 pm – 6:00pm
Room 604, Asian Centre
Open to the public. All are welcome.

In 1885 the Vietnamese monk physician Tuệ Tĩnh  (c. 1330-c.1400) was sent as a living present to the Ming Dynasty from the Vietnamese royal court.  Despite the fact that his travels were involuntary Tuệ Tĩnh’s journey to China and the medical text he wrote while living there had a profound impact on the history of Vietnamese Traditional Medicine.  Tuệ Tĩnh wrote his most well known text, Nam Dược Thần Hiệu  (Miraculous Drugs of the South), specifically to explain Vietnamese medicine to the Chinese.  This is one of the most famous and influential of all Vietnamese medical texts despite the fact that it was completed in China, not Vietnam, and that it was written primarily in Classical Chinese rather than in Vietnamese.  In fact one can say that part of its historical importance is that the factors surrounding its creation and its author exemplify many aspects of Vietnam’s long, at least 3,000 years, and highly complicated relationship with the Chinese and their rulers.

Michelle Thompson_ The Medical, Religious, and Diplomatic Travels of Tuệ TĩnhAbout the speaker: Michele Thompson holds an M.A. in East Asian History and a Ph.D. in Southeast Asian History, she specializes in history of medicine and science in Southeast Asia, she is Professor of Southeast Asian History at Southern Connecticut State University.  She is the author of numerous articles on the History of Medicine, Science, and the Environment in Southeast Asia, the co-editor of Southern Medicine for Southern People: Vietnamese Medicine in the Making and the author of Vietnamese Traditional Medicine: a Social History.