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Language and the Search for Resonance in U.S. Chinese Medicine
Sonya E. Pritzker
228 pages, 1 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78238-310-9 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (June 2014)
eISBN 978-1-78238-311-6 eBook
“This book contributes significantly to our understanding of contemporary Chinese medicine by identifying and evaluating the complexity of the transmission of translated medical knowledge…For scholars interested in postcolonial and racial dynamics within the social and institutional structures of Chinese medicine in the United States, this book is an excellent qualitative resource that can serve as a starting point for further investigations.” • Asian Medicine
“Pritzker’s work makes a critical contribution to an otherwise largely unexamined phenomenon: the embodied, personal, social, and cultural nature of translation. The transmission of a tradition from one complex cultural environment into another engages the deep—and not always congruent—commitments of many different parties. Pritzker deftly integrates insights from key theories and disciplines to illuminate the many experiential and moral layers involved in the translation of concepts and texts from Chinese medicine.” • Linda L. Barnes, Boston University
Integrating theoretical perspectives with carefully grounded ethnographic analyses of everyday interaction and experience, Living Translation examines the worlds of international translators as well as U.S. teachers and students of Chinese medicine, focusing on the transformations that occur as participants engage in a “search for resonance” with foreign terms and concepts. Based on a close examination of heated international debates as well as specific texts, classroom discussions, and interviews with publishers, authors, teachers, and students, Sonya Pritzker demonstrates the “living translation” of Chinese medicine as a process unfolding through interaction, inscription, embodied experience, and clinical practice. By documenting the stream of conversations that together constitute this process, the book thus traces the translation of Chinese medicine from text to practice with an eye towards the social, political, historical, moral, and even personal dimensions involved in the transnational production of knowledge about health, illness, and the body.
Sonya Pritzker is an anthropologist in the Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine & Health Services Research, at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. She is a researcher at the UCLA Center for East West Medicine and research advisor in the doctoral program at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego.