Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/52192
Title: The zhang on Chinese southern frontiers: Disease constructions, environmental changes, and imperial colonization
Authors: Yang, B. 
Keywords: Chinese colonization
Chinese disease concept
Chinese frontier
Chinese medical history
Environmental changes
Malaria
Tropical/subtropical diseases
Zhang
Issue Date: Jun-2010
Source: Yang, B. (2010-06). The zhang on Chinese southern frontiers: Disease constructions, environmental changes, and imperial colonization. Bulletin of the History of Medicine 84 (2) : 163-192. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Adopting a historicalist-conceptualist approach, this article scrutinizes from a longue durée perspective the Chinese disease concept zhang, which refers to a group of tropical and subtropical diseases on Chinese southern frontiers. It firstly reviews how the Chinese literati created and employed the term to set the southern, non-Han peoples culturally apart, then analyzes the zhang diseases and their treatment in Chinese traditional medicine. The article then turns to the question of how the zhang diseases constituted an ecological barrier that hindered Chinese southern expansions, illustrated by the Sino-Burmese War (1765-70). Finally, the case of Yunnan during the Ming-Qing period (1368-1912) will be examined to reveal how Chinese colonization reduced instances of the zhang, at least reflected in imperial texts. In sum, the Chinese notion of the zhang diseases as a distinct group interplayed with the Chinese frontier process and empire building and may shed light on the march toward the tropics in a broad context.
Source Title: Bulletin of the History of Medicine
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/52192
ISSN: 00075140
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