Faculty Bio

Wayne Soon

Assistant Professor of History

Wayne Soon is a historian of modern China and East Asia, with a particular interest in how international ideas and practices of medicine, institutional building, and diaspora have shaped the region’s interaction with its people and the world in the twentieth century. He received his B.A. from Carleton College, and his Ph.D. in history from Princeton University. He teaches classes on the history of East Asia, history of modern China and the World, World War II in East Asia, history of East Asian business and the state as well as the history of medicine.

He is currently working on a book manuscript that examines the history of medicine in China through the lens of the Overseas Chinese who brought to China new biomedical theories, practices, and institutions in the first half of the twentieth century. In highlighting the centrality of the diaspora in establishing a network of military medical institutions in China during the Second World War, he argues that the resultant wartime development of a medical culture of adaptability, portability, universality, and mobility left behind important legacies in health care and medical education in post-war China and Taiwan. His published and forthcoming articles and book reviews are in Twentieth Century China, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Asian Studies Review, The Historian, and East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal.


"Blood, Soy Milk, and Vitality: The Wartime Origins of Blood Banking in China, 1943–45," Bulletin of the History of Medicine 90, no. 3 (2016): 424-454. Link to Article. 

“Science, Medicine, and Confucianism in the Making of China and Southeast Asia – Lim Boon Keng and the Overseas Chinese, 1897 to 1937,” Twentieth-Century China 39, no. 1 (2014): 24-43. Link to Article.