Michele Thompson

Michele Thompson's picture
CEAS Associate-in-Research
Southern Connecticut State University
Areas of interest : 
Southeast Asia; History of Science, Medicine and Technology; Comparative Colonialisms
China, Transregional, Southeast Asia

Michele Thompson is a Professor of History at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) in New Haven, CT.  She received her M.A. (1985) from the University of Alabama and Ph.D. (1998) from the University of Washington, studying both ancient and modern Southeast Asia, the history of medicine, and late traditional China.  Her current teaching interests include Southeast Asia, history of science, medicine, and technology, and comparative colonialisms.  Select publications include “Jean Marie Despiau: Much Maligned Physician in the Service of the Nguyen Dynasty” in Wynn Wilcox ed. Vietnam and the West: New Approaches. (Ithaca: Cornell Southeast Asia Publications, 2010); “Sinification as Limitation: Minh Mang’s prohibition on use of Nom and the resulting marginalization of Nom medical texts,” in Florence Bretelle ed. Looking at it from Asia: The processes that shaped the sources of History of Science. Vol. 265 of Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science (Boston: Springer, 2010); and “Scripts and Medical Scripture in Vietnam: Nom and Classical Chinese in the Historic Transmission of Medical Knowledge in Pre-Twentieth Century Vietnam,” in Trinh Khac Manh et al. Nghien Cuu Chu Nom (Research on Nom Script) Ha Noi: Nha Xuat Ban Khoa Hoc Xa Hoi 2006.  Thompson’s current research focuses on a history of the entire South China Sea region as revealed through the interface between the demographic, economic, physical and social effects of smallpox, indigenous treatments for it, and the introduction of Jennerian vaccination for smallpox to the region beginning in 1805; and a “pre” history of Vietnamese traditional medicine focusing on the period before the creation of the earliest extant Vietnamese medical texts, fifteenth century, using archaeological evidence and textual materials from outside observers-primarily Chinese.