UCLA » College » Social Sciences » Anthropology
February 5, 2020
2:00pm to 4:00pm
Haines 352

UCLA Department of Anthropology Presents:
A President’s Post-Doc Preview Presentation Given By
Dr. Yidong Gong

Wednesday, February 5, 2019 starting at 2 p.m.
Haines Hall, Room 352

Non-Suffering Work: China’s Medical Interventions in Post-conflict South Sudan

China has long been invested in giving medical aid to African countries. But unlike its counterparts in Europe
and the US—whose aid is driven by “compassion” and discourses of “suffering”—or its own earlier
Mao-era aid of “revolutionary humanitarianism,” China today sees its medical interventions on the continent
as “international humanitarianism.” Based on fieldwork and archival research from 2013 to 2018, this talk
will give an overview of China’s medical programs in South Sudan from the 1970s to the present. I will use
Juba Teaching Hospital as a case study to show how Chinese doctors mediate their professional and social
space. In particular, I will discuss what I call “non-suffering work” that suggests implications for humanity
in post-conflict settings.

Dr. Yidong Gong is a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology,
UC Irvine. He works at the intersection of medical anthropology, global health, African studies,
and China studies. His research is based in South Sudan, East Africa and China. In 2019, he received his
Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Duke University. He had previously worked at Xinhua News Agency,
holding roles ranging from bilingual feature writer to Pyongyang-based foreign correspondent. He also
served as China Regional News Editor for SciDev.Net, a leading source of news, views and analysis about
science and technology for global development.