Dr Eric Ivan Karchmer


Adjunct Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
Appalachian State University
Box 32016
Boone, NC 28608

Affiliated Researcher - University of Westminster

I worked as a research fellow at EASTmedicine for two years as part of the “Treating the Liver, 1500-2000: Towards a Transnational History of East Asia Medicine” project funded by the Wellcome Trust. Prior to beginning my work on this project, I received my Ph. D. in medical anthropology from the University of North Carolina in 2005. I also earned a Bachelor’s of Medicine from the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine in 2000 and have practiced as a Licensed Acupuncturist in North Carolina, USA since 2011. My research for this project focused on the late imperial period and early Republican era in China, examining the shifting trends in medical scholarship and practice, especially as they pertain to emotion-related disorders, and exploring the border crossing flows of medical knowledge in East Asia. My research methods included archival research, with a focus on medical treatises, medical cases, early medical journals, textbooks, and collecting oral histories from senior physicians.

Research focus

I am a medical anthropologist interested in the modern and pre-modern practice of Chinese medicine in China. I research the production of knowledge and the creation of new social forms under colonial and postcolonial conditions, particularly the hybrid medical practices that doctors of Chinese medicine in China have developed in response to the global spread of biomedicine. My areas of specialization include the anthropology of knowledge, science and technology studies, colonial and postcolonial discourses, constructions of the body, the history of medicine in China, and China studies.



Under review 1998 The Double Truths of Hybridity: Postcolonial Transformations in Chinese Medicine. Submitted to University of Pennsylvania Press. 262 pages

Healthcare in China into the 21st Century. (with contributions from Nick Driver and Arthur Kroeber), Richard Latker (ed.). London: Economist Intelligence Unit. 152 pages.


Under review 2002 “Slow Medicine: How Chinese Medicine Became Efficacious Only for Chronic Conditions,” in Worlds of Chinese Medicine: Historical Epistemology and Transnational Cultural Politics. Howards Hsueh, (ed.) (Submitted to University of Rochester Press)

Magic, Science, and Qigong in Contemporary China, pp. 311-322. Susan Blum and Lionel Jensen (eds,) China Off Center: Mapping the Margins of the Middle Kingdom. University of Hawaii Press. 12 pages.


Daidoji, Keiko and Eric I Karchmer (2016). The Case of the Suzhou Hospital of National Medicine (1939–41): War, Medicine, and Eastern Civilization, in EASTS Volume 11, Number 2: 161-183. 

Forthcoming “The Excitations and Suppressions of the Time: Locating Emotional Disorders in Modern Chinese Medicine.” Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry. [Refereed]

2010 Chinese Medicine in Action: On the Postcoloniality of Medical Practice in China. Medical Anthropology. 29(3): 1-27. 27 pages [Refereed]

2001 文化人类学与中医 (Cultural Anthropology and Chinese Medicine). 《北京中医药大学学报》(Beijing University of Chinese Medicine Journal). (Co-authored with Judith Farquhar and Lai Lili.) 6:4-9. 5 pages.

Pen and glasses on written paper


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