Xiaoping Fang

Assoc Professor

Accepting PhD Students


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Xiaoping Fang is an Associate Professor of Chinese Studies at Monash University. He received his PhD in history from the National University of Singapore (NUS), where, from 2002 to 2008, he majored in modern China and the history of science, technology and medicine. He studied and worked at the Needham Research Institute, Cambridge, UK (2005–6), the Asia Research Institute of the NUS (2008), the China Research Centre of the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia (2009–13), the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (2013–21), and the National Humanities Center, USA (2019–20).

His current research interests focus on the history of medicine, health, and epidemics in twentieth-century China and the sociopolitical history of Mao’s China after 1949. He is committed to reinterpreting far-reaching public health movements and medical programs in China that have largely been stereotyped in research to date. His work covers a long temporal span and takes a bottom-up perspective based on archival documents, local gazetteers, and oral history materials collected from intensive fieldwork. His research combines sociological and anthropological theories and makes empirical and theoretical contributions to the understanding of medical history. His research also sheds light on major medical and public health issues in contemporary China from a historical perspective and communicates the enduring relevance of historical analysis to wider health policy audiences and the general public.

He is the author of Barefoot Doctors and Western Medicine in China (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2012) and China and the Cholera Pandemic: Restructuring Society under Mao (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2021; Winner, 2022 Outstanding Academic Title, CHOICE Awards) and he has published articles in journals such as Modern China, The China Quarterly, Modern Asian Studies, and Medical History.

Research interests

History of medicine, health, and epidemics in twentieth-century China

The sociopolitical history of Mao's China after 1949

Supervision interests

History of medicine, health, and epidemics in China

The sociopolitical history of Mao's China

Modern Chinese history

Contemporary Chinese politics and society

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or