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Title: Healing, rebellion, and the law: Ethnologies of medicine in colonial Burma, 1928-1932
Authors: Aung-Thwin, M. 
Issue Date: 2010
Citation: Aung-Thwin, M. (2010). Healing, rebellion, and the law: Ethnologies of medicine in colonial Burma, 1928-1932. Journal of Burma Studies 14 (1) : 151-186. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Asia's encounter with Western medicine and the emergence of public health regimes might be regarded as one chapter within the larger framework of colonialism and its discursive practices. Medicine contributed to the ordering of colonized Asia by providing particular vocabularies and frameworks through which cultures and communities could be identified, categorized, and transformed into accessible knowledge. Notions of the body, race, cleanliness, sickness, "the patient" and healing were continuously shaped and negotiated within the context of this encounter, involving sites of healing, communities, and a wide range of socio-political contexts. This study considers the way in which "indigenous medicine" was delineated by two instruments of the colonial administration in British Burma: a committee appointed to integrate the study of local practices into the educational system and a special tribunal, which was formed to process detainees in the wake of one of the largest rebellions in colonial Burma's history. It suggests that the shadow of Burma's administrative connection to India might have corresponded to the manner in which healing culture was conceptualized. Due to changing political circumstances surrounding the question of Burma's separation from India, the image of traditional medicine shifted to represent a distinct form of Burmese criminality and resistance. © 2010 Center for Burma Studies.
Source Title: Journal of Burma Studies
ISSN: 1094799X
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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