• B.A., Trent University 1998
  • M.A., McGill University, 1999
  • Ph.D., McGill University, 2013


Areas of Interest

History of medicine, history of science, history of the body and history of pain, East Asian history

I am a historian of medicine, with a geographic focus on East Asia and Southeast Asia. I study the history of childbirth, including the history of pain, the use of frankincense in traumatic childbirth medicine and the history of embodied knowledge. I am interested in interdisciplinary research, and I often rely on the works of anthropologists and literary scholars, for access to intimate knowledge and experiences our bodies remember or use, but are often difficult to historicize.

My current projects include the shifting value of frankincense from the Arabian Sea through the Indian Ocean to East Asia, and the use of aromatic medicines. I have a book project on the history of pain in women’s medicine, including childbirth pain, menstrual and postpartum pain in medicine.

Courses Taught
  • History of Pain
  • History of Body
  • Body and Nation
  • Family in Chinese History
  • Chinese Civilization
  • Modern China
  • Modern Japan
  • Vietnam’s War of Resistance


“The Use of Pain in Determining the Progress of Childbirth in Shichan lun”  Journal of East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine 48 (2018): 81-124.

Book Reviews

Lincoln C. Chen, Michael R. Reich, and Jennifer Ryan, edited. Medical Education in East Asia: Past and Future (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017). Canadian Journal of History, Volume 54, Number 3, Winter / hiver 2019, pp. 391-393.

Angela Ki Che Leung and Izumi Nakayama, eds. Gender, Health, and History in Modern East Asia (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2017). Medical History: An International Journal for the History of Medicine and Related Sciences Volume 63 Issue 1 (2018), pp. 96-98.

Roberta Zavoretti. Rural Origins, City Lives: Class & Place in Contemporary China. (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 2017). Women and Gender in Chinese Studies Review 2018.

Yang Binbin. Heroines of the Qing: Exemplary Women Tell Their Stories by Yang Binbin. (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 2017).  Women and Gender in Chinese Studies Review 2017. http://www.wagnet.ox.ac.uk/wagrev/journals/articles/01206.pdf

Luo Manling. Literati Storytelling in Late Medieval China. (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 2015). Women and Gender in Chinese Studies Review 2015.

Paola Zamperini. Lost Bodies: Prostitution and Masculinity in Chinese Fiction. (Leiden: Brill, 2010). Women and Gender in Chinese Studies Review 2011.