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Diana Reznik-Martova, ID # 296193, assignment 2 The academic source I will assess is an article, called Articulating Chinese Madness: a Review

of the Modern Historiography of Madness in Pre-Modern China by Chen Hsiu-fen. In this short article, (which is partially drafted from his PHD thesis), author has managed to briefly review the ways in which the modern scholarship, both Western and Chinese, has treated an issue of Madness in Pre-Modern China. Although the topic is historical, the author describes both the psychiatric and historical approaches to the topic, as these two dominate the debate. He begins with an outline of emergence of psychiatry in the modern China. As author explains, after the rapid change in the European medicine and the rapidly growing importance of psychiatry in Europe and North America, psychiatric and psychological terminology and taxonomy have increasingly dominated medical interpretations in both the western and non-western societies1. Psychiatry was brought to China by the missionary medicine, which, according to Chen, played a no less important role than science and technology did during the process of modernization of China (ibid)2, and caused the reaction on the foreign medicine and the change of Chinese medicine. It is further described how the research into Chinese madness has changed in scope and nature after 1949. In short, the author gives some crucial historical background before assessing the historiographical works, which is very useful, while helps the reader to see these works in the political context of the time. It thus gets clear how the western debate on whether insanity really exists in china3 focusing on the differences between the Western and Chinese psychology, has to some extent been influenced by the colonial necessity to understand the Oriental mind; it likewise demonstrates how the Chinese works on the topic since the 1950s have been constrained by a political agenda, which was both nationalist and socialist. Generally, author, while himself remaining impartial and apolitical, allows the reader who lacks historical and cultural background to assess multiple factors that have shaped both historiographical works and the notion(s) of madness. Another important part of the article is authors reflections on the methodology that is used by two dominant approaches to historiography of madness-historical and psychiatric. Author finds both to some extent contradictory. He finds the tendency of the psychiatrists to analyze premodern medical texts in sheer terms of the modern psychoanalysis and their emphasis on the translation of the ancient concepts into the modern ones to be quite constraining (ibid,22). The approach of assessing a set of theories from the one culture according to the medical theory of the other, with no regards to difference in the most basic concepts of these theories, as well as to the considerable time gap between the two is sometimes inadequate. On the other hand, the

historians who interpret phenomenon exclusively in its own terms and cultural context risk to be misunderstood by the readers. Chen suggests that while studying this subject, one should be both translator and bilinguist (ibid, 29). Due to the points, mentioned above, this academic source seems to be accurate, consistent, as well as assessable and informative. Not only does it help the reader to assess its arguments, but it also encourages some further research, suggesting methodology to use. Speaking about the weak points of the source, I cannot find any. I am not able to assess an accuracy of the list of the historiographical works, analyzed in this article, as well as its factual accuracy in general. The primary source I am going to use is an online article, called the psychoanalysis in china nowadays4 . So far, I am not completely sure how exactly it will be used in my research. However, this article, originally from a Chinese daily newspaper, can help to understand the general level of the debate in mass-media on the given topic, as well as to how topical is the issue to the present-day Chinese society. Certainly, in order to get a full image of public awareness of the topic, I would need much more articles of this kind, as well as some other kinds of data. Nevertheless, even this small article shows that the extent to which psychotherapy has succeeded to fit into the Chinese medical tradition is still rather unclear.

Bibliography: Chen, Hsiu-Fen. Articulating the Chinese Madness: a review of the Modern historiography of Madness in Pre-Modern China. : Accessed November 18, 2011. http://www.ihp.sinica.edu.tw/~medicine/ashm/lectures/Chen%20Hsiu-fen-ft.pdf Li Hujun Jingshen fenxi zai zhongguo (psychoanalysis in China): Acessed November 18 http://www.okpsy.net/zhuanyuan/ShowArticle.asp?ArticleID=2646

Hsiu-Fen, Chen. Articulating Madness: a review of the modern historiography of madness in pre-modern China. p.3. 2 Ibid, p.4. 3 Ibid, p.4. 4 , p.1