Fluid Matter(s): Flow and Transformation in the History of the Body

Natalie Köhle (Editor), Shigehisa Kuriyama (Editor)

    Research output: Book/ReportBook or reportpeer-review


    Once upon a time, doctors across Eurasia imagined human beings in ways that strike us today as profoundly strange and alien. For over 2,000 years, they worried anxiously about fluids to which our modern doctors spare hardly a thought (such as sweat, phlegm and qi) and they obsessed over details (such as whether a person’s pores were open or closed) whose meaning and vital importance have now largely faded from memory. Through a series of case studies from Europe, India, China, Mongolia and Japan, Fluid Matter(s) suggests ways to make sense of this strange and dimly remembered past, and urges us to reflect anew on the significance of fluids and flows in the history of medicine.

    The book also urges us, more generally, to reimagine the way in which we narrate history. The articles here are essays, in the original French sense. They are exploratory trials, experiments to illustrate some of the ways in which digital texts can go beyond the affordances of print. They test visual effects that are inconceivable on a paper page, but that are easily conjured on an electronic screen. Fluid Matter(s) is the first work of its kind: a study that narrates the body’s past in a form that embodies new futures for narrative.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherAustralian National University Press
    ISBN (Electronic)9781760463878
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

    Publication series

    NameAsian Studies Series Monograph 14
    PublisherANU Press

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Arts and Humanities(all)
    • Cultural Studies
    • Social Sciences(all)


    Dive into the research topics of 'Fluid Matter(s): Flow and Transformation in the History of the Body'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this