Nicole Barnes begins this talk with a detailed history of the early formation of professional nursing in China in the 1930s and 40s while the nation defended itself against the Japanese army. In this period, remarkable women such as Major General Zhou Meiyu and Dean of Peking Union Medical College School of Nursing Nie Yuchan served as capable and recognized leaders. She then uses her understanding of this history to inform analysis of the place of women in China’s medical profession today, with a focus on how the nation has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nicole Barnes is Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor in the Departments of History and Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies at Duke University. Her research investigates medicine and public health to measure social values, state-society relations, and political priorities in twentieth-century China. She is author of Intimate Communities: Wartime Nursing & the Birth of Modern China, 1937-1945, available open access from University of California Press.
This event is cosponsored by the UB Gender Institute, Department of History, and Confucius Institute.