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Wayne Soon Assistant Professor of History

Wayne Soon is a historian of modern China and East Asia, with a particular interest in how international ideas and practices of medicine, institutional building, and diaspora have shaped the region’s interaction with its people and the world in the twentieth century. He received his BA from Carleton College, and his PhD in history from Princeton University. His published and forthcoming journal articles and book reviews are in Twentieth Century China, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Asian Studies Review, Asian Medicine, Social History of Medicine, and East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal.

  • BA, Carleton College; MA, PhD, Princeton University
  • At Vassar since 2016

Contact

  • Phone: 845-437-7981
  • Office: Swift Hall
  • Hours: Tuesday 12:50-1:50 p.m., Wednesday 9:50-11:50 a.m. and by appointment
  • Box: 711

Research and Academic Interests

  • Modern Chinese History
  • East Asian History
  • History of Science, Medicine, and Technology

Departments and Programs

Courses

  • HIST/ASIA 122 Encounters in Modern East Asia
  • HIST/ASIA 202 Business and the State in East Asia
  • HIST/ASIA/STS 245 Medicine, Health, and Diseases in East Asia
  • HIST/ASIA 246 World War II in East Asia
  • HIST/ASIA 310 Mao’s China in the World: War, Science and Legitimacy
  • HIST/ASIA 387 Modern China: Wealth, Power, and Revolution

Selected Publications

Photos

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Photo: Karl Rabe / Vassar College

Wayne Soon is a historian of modern China and East Asia, with a particular interest in how international ideas and practices of medicine, institutional building, and diaspora have shaped the region’s interaction with its people and the world in the twentieth century. He received his BA from Carleton College, and his PhD in history from Princeton University. He teaches classes on the history of East Asia, history of modern China and the World, World War II in East Asia, history of East Asian business and the state as well as the history of medicine.

He is currently working on a book manuscript that examines the history of medicine in China through the lens of the Overseas Chinese who brought to China new biomedical theories, practices, and institutions in the first half of the twentieth century. In highlighting the centrality of the diaspora in establishing a network of military medical institutions in China during the Second World War, he argues that the resultant wartime development of a medical culture of adaptability, portability, universality, and mobility left behind important legacies in health care and medical education in post-war China and Taiwan. His published and forthcoming articles and book reviews are in Twentieth Century China, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Asian Studies Review, Asian Medicine, Social History of Medicine, and East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal.