Disease and Public Health in China since 1800

Disease and Public Health in China since 1800 is an upper level GenEd class that was first offered by the Department of History at Hong Kong Baptist University in the fateful spring semester of 2020. Little did we expect how relevant our topic would soon become.

After only two class meetings we found ourselves “e-learning” about past ways of dealing with epidemics just as we ourselves were trying to cope with the profound changes that COVID-19 brought to our daily lives.

The class was unusual. Not only because of the remote teaching, but also because of a new form of textual assignment: image based storytelling. Here we share with you two inspiring essays about beating deadly epidemics composed by the students.

Chinese Sovereignty and the Manchurian Plague
Feng jiaqiao, Wang Leyao, Huang Yining and Leng Rujing

The Anti-Tuberculosis Campaign in Republican China
Zhang Chenxiao, Zhou Ziyu, Huang Yantian and Gao Ben

These stories are two examples out of many brilliant stories produced by the students of this year's class. They were chosen for their relevance to COVID-19.

The project was supported by:

Dr. Natalie Köhle (course teacher)
Peter Tam (teaching assistant)
Laura Sumrall (editor)
The Department of History

Image credits


Epidemic of Plague in Manchuria (China) in 1911 © Institut Pasteur/Archives Henri Mollaret. Reproduced from Photographs of the Third Plague Pandemic, University of Cambridge. Reproduced by permission of the Institut Pasteur.

Model of anti-plague mask designed by Charles Broquet © Institut Pasteur/Archives Charles Broquet. Reproduced from Photographs of the Third Plague Pandemic, University of Cambridge. Reproduced by permission of the Institut Pasteur.