Lan Li is a historian of the body and filmmaker. She received her PhD in Science, Technology, and Society Studies at MIT in 2016. There, she explored a comparative history of body mapping among practitioners in China and Britain throughout the twentieth century.
As a presidential scholar, Lan focuses on developing a comparative history of numbness. She is particularly interested in how representations of peripheral sensation through hand-drawn maps cohered and conflicted with different perceptions of health and disease. Her collaborations include projects on nerve damage, aging, and pain.
Lan is also a filmmaker, producing short films about medicine and health among immigrant communities in the United States. During her free time, Lan plays the guzheng, a 21-stringed Chinese zither.
Project Title: Comparative Histories of Touch and Numbness