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The Hypothetical MandarinSympathy, modernity, and Chinese Pain$
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Eric Hayot

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195377965

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377965.001.0001

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The Chinese Body in Pain

The Chinese Body in Pain

American Missionary Medical Care, 1838–1852

(p.95) 3 The Chinese Body in Pain
The Hypothetical Mandarin

Eric Hayot (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the medical archive collected by an American doctor, Peter Parker, who between 1835 and the mid‐1850s operated the first and most successful Western medical missionary hospital in China. Through readings of Parker's case studies, the paintings by Lam Qua of his patients, and a box of “urinary calculi” (that is, kidney stones) that he brought back with him from China, this chapter both establishes the importance of Parker's example as an expression of Western sympathy and of overcoming of moral distance and argues that Parker's archive in some sense exceeds the historical context to which we might wish to assign it, thereby indicating something of the internal limits of sympathy as a philosophical problem and the external limits imposed on a sympathy for the Chinese by the two Opium Wars.

Keywords:   Peter Parker, medical, missionary, Lam Qua, painting, United States

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