Dentistry in Vietnam

Director’s Conversations Series, Spring 2021

Speaker: Russell Taylor, Lecturer on Restorative Dentistry and Biomaterials Sciences, Harvard School of Dental Medicine

Discussant: James Robson, James C. Kralik and Yunli Lou Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations; Victor and William Fung Director, Harvard University Asia Center; Chair, Regional Studies East Asia, Harvard University  

Produced by the Harvard University Asia Center

Dr. Russell Taylor earned his dental degree from McGill University in Montreal, then completed Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residency at the University of the Pacific. He is an Associate professor of dentistry at Harvard as well as the University of the Pacific. Dr. Taylor also teaches dentistry at the University of Hue in Vietnam in an effort to modernize clinical practice in that country. Dr. Taylor is a philanthropist who participates in charity clinics locally as well as overseas each year, donating his dental services to the less fortunate.

During his 8 years in San Francisco, Dr. Taylor was the team dentist for the Oakland Raiders, Golden State Warriors, and San Francisco Golden Gate men’s elite rugby team. He also served as a consultant for the Miss Asian Global Pageant.

Dr. Taylor has received multiple awards including the Committee Person of the Year, Outstanding Resident, the Hanau Excellence in Prosthodontics, and American Association of Dental Public Health Dentistry Award. When he is not practicing he enjoys glass blowing traveling.

James Robson is the James C. Kralik and Yunli Lou Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and the William Fung Director of the Harvard University Asia Center. He is also the Chair of the Regional Studies East Asia M.A. program. Robson received his Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from Stanford University in 2002, after spending many years researching in China, Taiwan, and Japan. He specializes in the history of medieval Chinese Buddhism and Daoism and is particularly interested in issues of sacred geography, local religious history, and Chan/Zen Buddhism. He has been engaged in a long-term collaborative research project with the École Française d’Extrême-Orient studying local religious statuary from Hunan province. He is the author of Power of Place: The Religious Landscape of the Southern Sacred Peak [Nanyue 南嶽] in Medieval China (Harvard, 2009), which was awarded the Stanislas Julien Prize for 2010 by the French Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres and the 2010 ToshihideNumata Book Prize in Buddhism. Robson is also the author of "Signs of Power: Talismanic Writings in Chinese Buddhism" (History of Religions 48:2), "Faith in Museums: On the Confluence of Museums and Religious Sites in Asia" (PMLA, 2010), and "A Tang Dynasty Chan Mummy [roushen] and a Modern Case of Furta Sacra? Investigating the Contested Bones of Shitou Xiqian." His current research includes a long-term project on the history of the confluence of Buddhist monasteries and mental hospitals in East Asia.

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