In what must be one of the most well-organized and clearly-written books in the history of academic writing, Yi-Li Wu‘s book, Reproducing Women: Medicine,...

In what must be one of the most well-organized and clearly-written books in the history of academic writing, Yi-Li Wu‘s book, Reproducing Women: Medicine, Metaphor, and Childbirth in Late Imperial China (University of California Press, 2010),¬†introduces readers to a rich history of women’s medicine (fuke) in the context of late imperial China. Reproducing Women offers much more than a history of ideas and practices of women’s health in the late Ming and early Qing, however. Wu weaves together an impressive range of sources, including comparative perspectives from contemporary contexts, to create a fascinating account of the ways that human bodies were experienced and understood in Chinese medical history. In the course of our discussion and our journey through the book, we touched on topics ranging from monastery handbooks, to the late imperial version of Kinko’s, to the comparative history of pregnancy tests.

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