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Mary Augusta Brazelton

University Lecturer in Global Studies of Science, Technology and Medicine

I am University Lecturer in Global Studies of Science, Technology and Medicine. My book, Mass Vaccination: Citizens' Bodies and State Power in Modern China (forthcoming in October 2019 with Cornell University Press), examines the history of mass immunization in twentieth-century China. My research interests lie broadly in historical intersections of clinical medicine, the life sciences and public health, in China and around the world. I received my PhD in History from Yale and have taught at Tufts University. At Cambridge, I am also an affiliated lecturer in East Asian Studies at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and an associate member of the World History Subject Group in the History Faculty, as well as a Research Fellow of the Needham Research Institute. I am Director of Studies for HPS at St Catharine's College. Potential students may get in touch by emailing mab94 at cam dot ac dot uk.

I also organize a Manchu language study group, which meets regularly for text-reading sessions during term.

I am on sabbatical leave in Easter 2019.

Research interests

Global studies of science and medicine; history of medicine and the life sciences in modern China; 20th-century biomedicine; history of international and global health.


"Danger in the Air: Tuberculosis Control and BCG Vaccination in the Republic of China, 1930-1949." Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review (e-journal) 30: 35-54. 

“Frontiers of Immunology: Medical Migrations to Yunnan, Vaccine Research, and Public Health during the War with Japan, 1937-1949.” In China and the Globalization of Biomedicine, edited by David Luesink, Zhang Daqing, and William Schneider. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2019.

'Western Medical Education on Trial: The Endurance of Peking Union Medical College, 1949–1960', Twentieth-Century China 40 (2015): 126–145.

Chinese translation: "放归国有之后的北京协和医学院,” in 《协和百年纪念文集》(The Legacy of PUMC: Centennial Essays), ed. Jiang Yuhong 蒋育红 and Mary Brown Bullock, 326-41. Beijing: Zhongguo xiehe yike daxue chubanshe, 2017.


Review of Public Health and the Modernization of China, 1865-2015 by Bu Liping, Social History of Medicine. Published online 1 March 2019.

Review of Red Revolution, Green Revolution: Scientific Farming in Socialist China by Sigrid Schmalzer, Journal of Asian Studies 76, no. 4 (2017): 4-5.

Review of Historical Epistemology and the Making of Modern Chinese Medicine edited by Howard Chiang, Isis 107, no. 4 (2016): 819-20.

Review of Farewell to the God of Plague: Chairman Mao's Campaign to Deworm China by Miriam Gross, East Asian Science, Technology, and Society 10 (2016): 1-4.

Review of Saving Lives in Wartime China: How Medical Reformers Built Modern Healthcare Systems Amid War and Epidemics, 1928–1945 by John Robertson Watt, Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity 8 (2015): 491–493.

Review of Barefoot Doctors and Western Medicine in China by Fang Xiaoping, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 69 (2014): 343–345.


"Beyond Brainwashing: Propaganda, Public Health, and Chinese Allegations of Germ Warfare in Manchuria," post on Hidden Persuaders Project, Birkbeck, University of London, 21 November 2016.

Recording of a recent talk at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s Centre for History in Public Health: < immunity-mass-vaccination-modern-china-east-asia-1945-75/>