Baihui Duan


ERC Postdoctoral Researcher; Junior Research Fellow of Wolfson College

Faculty / College Address:

Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies / Wolfson College


Research Interests:

  • Premodern history of Korea;
  • East Asian environmental history;
  • History of East Asian epidemics;
  • War and disease;
  • Health and the government.

Baihui’s research examines the history of war, the environment, disease, medicine, and governance in East Asia, particularly after the Imjin War. Combining approaches from historical and geo-spatial analysis, she examines how nature and infectious diseases shaped migration, disaster relief, medical care, and governance in pre-modern Korea. She also considers how the impact of epidemics spread beyond Korea’s borders to affect East Asian military strategy, commerce, diplomacy, and the circulation of medical knowledge, shedding light on interlinked histories of infectious diseases and environmental crises in the region. Through a comparison with the European history of public health, her project also contributes to the neglected field of epidemic management in pre-modern East Asia, opening up questions of power and its political meaning in global discourses of health.

Current Projects:

  • Working on a book chapter and various papers on post-Imjin environmental and social history (1592-1800) as a core member of the ERC project “Aftermath of the East Asian War” (
  • Working on a book project on the history of premodern Korean epidemics in the late sixteenth to eighteenth centuries

Recent Publications (Selected):

Baihui Duan, Rebekah Clements. “Fighting for Forests: Protection and Exploitation of Kŏje Island Timber during the East Asian War of 1592 to 1598”, Environmental History 2022, vol.27(3), 415-440, of a 2023 Vandervort Prize from the Society for Military History). 

Baihui Duan. “Clothing, Food and Dwelling: Western Views of Korean Life in the Early Nineteenth Century”, European Journal of Korean Studies 18(2): 2019, 127-152.

Baihui Duan