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Korean J Med Hist > Volume 19(2); 2010 > Article
Korean Journal of Medical History 2010;19(2): 255-298.
In the Margins: Writing on Medicine in Korea After 1876
Sonja M Kim
Department of Asian and Asian American Studies, Binghamton University, SUNY, USA. skim@binghamton.edu
The goals of this article are to survey American scholarship of medicine in Korea during the modern period and to suggest perspectives such studies offer to the fields of Korean history, Asian studies, and "mainstream" history of medicine. Until recently, the history of medicine in modern Korea has been peripheralized in the larger fields within which it is subsumed for various reasons. Earlier researchers tended to operate from "Orientalist" frameworks or were informed by "modernization theory," and thus have focused generally on American interventions in Korean public health and medicine (through missionaries, the US military, and other aid organizations) or that which has been conventionally perceived as "traditional" medicine. Critical scholarship in fields of STS and post-colonial studies, however, have recently inspired new research that reassess polemic issues such as technology transfer, translation of knowledge, cultural encounters, governmentality, processes involved in the revitalization of Hanui, construction of gender, and nexus among medicine, science, and technology. As such the field as expanded beyond Korean history to include anthropology, sociology, STS, and linguistics. Moreover, given the transnational nature of academia and possibilities for productive comparative research, Korean history of medicine may soon no longer remain in the margins.
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