Shenglan Li

Assistant Professor of History




History, Asian Studies


Knapton 323

Spring 2022: on leave

(508) 286-3428


I’m a historian of East Asia, specializing in the history of science and medicine as well as women’s and gender studies. I joined Wheaton College in 2017, after completing my doctorate at Binghamton University. My current book project explores nurses’ experiences as gendered socio-political phenomena in China during the first half of the twentieth century.

Awards and Fellowships

  • Wheaton Research Partnership Award, Wheaton College, 2020-2021
  • Karen Buhler-Wilkerson Faculty Fellowship, Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, 2019
  • Arnold Award for Faculty Summer Research, Wheaton College, 2019
  • Doctoral Fellowship, Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange, 2016-2017
  • Doctoral Fellowship (declined), Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities, Binghamton University, 2016-2017
  • China Times Young Scholar Award, China Times Cultural Foundation, 2014-2015


Ph.D., Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY, 2017
M.A., Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY, 2013
B.A., Nankai University, Tianjin, China, 2011

Teaching Interests

  • East Asian History
  • Medical History
  • Gender and Sexuality in East Asia

As a first-gen college student, I am passionate about the transformative nature of a liberal arts education. In my classes, I invite students to ponder the perplexity, power, and pertinence of history and also hone transferrable skills. At Wheaton, I have developed and taught the following courses:

  • HIST 131: Modern East Asia
  • HIST 198: Premodern East Asia
  • FSEM 101: Lights, Camera, Action! Modern East Asia on Screen
  • FYE 101: Contact: Geography, Resources, and Cultures Along Eurasia’s Historical Trade Routes
  • HIST 260: History of Japan
  • HIST 262: History of China
  • HIST 263: History of Korea
  • HIST 298: History of Medicine
  • HIST 401: History Senior Seminar


Book Review of Intimate Communities: Wartime Healthcare and the Birth of Modern China, 1937–1945, by Nicole Elizabeth Barnes. Oakland: University of California Press, 2018. The Journal of Asian Studies 79, no. 1 (2020): 155–56.

Book Review of After Eunuchs: Science, Medicine, and the Transformation of Sex in Modern China, by Howard Chiang. New York: Columbia University Press, 2018. Canadian Journal of History 54, no. 3 (2019): 394-396.

“A Social History of Wartime Nursing Training in Hunan, 1937- 1945,” in David Luesink, William H. Schneider, and Daqing Zhang, eds. China and the Globalization of Biomedicine. Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2019.

Book review of Medical Transitions in Twentieth-Century China, Bridie Andrews and Mary Brown Bullock eds. Bloomington, IL: Indiana University Press, 2014. Social History of Medicine 29, no. 1 (2016): 188-190.