Speaker and Chair Bios

James Delbourgo

Rutgers University

James Delbourgo was born in Great Britain and educated at the University of East Anglia, Cambridge (Christ’s College) and Columbia. He previously taught at McGill in Montreal, where he directed the program in History and Philosophy of Science; was Visiting Professor of History of Science at Harvard in 2016; and is an associate of that department. His research combines the history of science with imperial and global history and the history of collecting and museum studies. His latest book, Collecting the World (2017), explores global natural history collecting and the career of Hans Sloane, which culminated in the foundation of the British Museum in 1753. The book examines Sloane’s career from his background in Ulster and voyage to the slave society of Jamaica to his creation of a network of collectors who gathered curiosities throughout the world, making possible the establishment of the British Museum. g.

Marwa Elshakry

Columbia University

Marwa Elshakry, Associate Professor, specializes in the history of science, technology, and medicine in the modern Middle East. She received her M.A. (1997) and Ph.D. (2003) from Princeton. Her first book, entitled, Reading Darwin in Arabic was published in 2013 with University of Chicago Press. Among her publications are ‘When Science became Western: historiographical reflections’, Isis, 101:1 (March 2010), 98-109, Elshakry and Sujit Sivasundaram, eds., Science, Race and Imperialism [Victorian Literature and Science series: vol. 6], [Pickering and Chatto, 2012], “The Exegesis of Science in Twentieth Century Arabic Interpretations of the Qur’an” in Jitse M. van der Meer and Scott Mandelbrote (eds),Interpreting Nature and Scripture: History of a Dialogue (2009), “Knowledge in Motion: The Cultural Politics of Modern Science Translations in Arabic”, Isis, (December 2008), “Darwinian Conversions: Science and Translation in Egypt and the Levant” in Anne-Marie Moulin (ed.), Modernité et modernisation dans l’Empire ottoman du XIXe siècle à nos jours (2008), and “The Gospel of Science and American Evangelism in Late Ottoman Beirut”, Past and Present, (August 2007). She co-leads the Global Histories of Science Research Cluster.

Shigehisa Kuriyama

Harvard University

Shigehisa (Hisa) Kuriyama, who directs Radcliffe’s humanities program, is a Japanologist and a historian of medicine. His work explores broad philosophical issues (being and time, representations and reality, knowing and feeling) through the lens of specific topics in comparative medical history (China, Europe, and Japan). His book The Expressiveness of the Body and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine (Zone, 1999) received the 2001 William H. Welch Medal of the American Association for the History of Medicine and has been translated into Chinese, Greek, Spanish, and Korean. He has been expanding the horizons of teaching and scholarly communication through the creative use of digital technologies at Harvard and other universities in the United States and abroad. Kuriyama earned undergraduate and master’s degrees from Harvard. After completing acupuncture studies in Tokyo, he earned a PhD at Harvard. He joined the Harvard faculty as Reischauer Institute Professor after working at the University of New Hampshire, Emory University, and the International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto, Japan.

Eugenia Lean

Columbia University

Eugenia Lean offers courses on modern Chinese history, history of science and technology, gender and affect, consumer culture, and cultural theory and historical methods. In her book Public Passions: The Trial of Shi Jianqiao and the Rise of Popular Sympathy in Republican China (University of California Press, 2007), she examines a sensational crime of female passion to document the political role of sentiment in the making of a critical urban public. Lean’s book, Vernacular Industrialism in China:Local Innovation and Translated Technologies in the Making of a Cosmetics Empire, 1900-1940 (Columbia University Press, 2020), examines the manufacturing, commercial and cultural activities of maverick industrialist Chen Diexian (1879-1940). Lean received her BA from Stanford (1990) and her MA and PhD (1996, 2001) from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before joining the Columbia faculty in 2002, she taught at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Julia Rodriguez

University of New Hampshire

Julia Rodriguez has taught at UNH since 1999. A native of New York City, she studied at the New School (sociology and historical studies) and Columbia University (history). At Columbia, she specialized in Latin American history and the history of science and medicine and took a minor field in feminist studies. At UNH, Rodriguez teaches courses on Latin American history, cultural history, and digital history. Rodriguez is the author of Civilizing Argentina: Science, Medicine, and the Modern State (UNC Press, 2006), and has published articles in the American Historical Review, Isis, Science in Context, and the Hispanic American Historical Review. She is also editor of the open-source teaching website HOSLAC: History of Science in Latin America and the Caribbean (www.hoslac.org). Rodriguez has been an ACLS Fellow, a fellow at the UNH Center for the Humanities, and a National Science Foundation CAREER awardee; her work has received awards from New England Council for Latin American Studies and the American Association for the History of Medicine. She was the Peggy Rockefeller Visiting Scholar at Harvard University in 2011-12. Rodriguez’s current research focuses on the history of social sciences in Latin America, Europe, and the Americas, with a focus on the origins of transnational Americanist anthropology.

Pierce Salguero

Abington College, Pennsylvania State University

Pierce Salguero is a transdisciplinary medical humanities scholar who is fascinated by historical and contemporary intersections between Buddhism, medicine, and crosscultural exchange. He has a Ph.D. in History of Medicine from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (2010), and teach Asian history, medicine, and religion at Penn State University’s Abington College, located near Philadelphia. The major theme in his scholarship is discovering the role of Buddhism in the global transmission and local reception of knowledge about health, disease, and the body. His approach this topic using methodologies from history, religious studies, translation studies, and anthropology, among other fields. He is continually seeking opportunities to cross disciplinary lines in publishing and presenting his work. He regularly publish writing for non-scholarly audiences, and am passionate about connecting his scholarship and teaching with contemporary issues and events.

Tiago Saraiva

Drexel University

Tiago Saraiva’s current work deals with the historical connections between science, food, and politics. Mixing approaches from history of science, history of technology and environmental history, he follows the transnational circulation of Californian oranges from and into Brazil, Palestine, Algeria and South Africa. He is interested in what travels attached to Californian technoscientific oranges such as cloning practices, viruses, growers’ cooperatives and racialized labor relations. In his new book manuscript, “Cloning Democracy”, he tinkers intensively with oranges in order to assert the importance of California in the remaking of the Global South in the first half of the Twentieth Century. His approach to citrus draws heavily on his previous research on genetics, food and fascism. In his book, “Fascist Pigs: Technoscientific Organisms and the History of Fascism” (MIT Press, 2016), he researched emblematic themes of fascist ideology, such as ‘rootedness in the soil’ and Lebensraum, by looking at the cultivated plants and domestic animals that materialized these ideas in the landscape in Italy, Germany and Portugal, and their respective imperial territories in Eastern Europe and Africa.

Kavita Sivaramakrishnan

Columbia University

Kavita Sivaramakrishnan is a public health historian of South Asia with a focus on the politics of health, medicine and science in the global South. Her early research focused on the politics of ‘indigenous’ Ayurvedic medicine and its reconfiguring in a late colonial context in North India through claims and representations based on language and religion. She has also worked on social histories of epidemics and the role played by experts and scientific evidence, including the plague and its national and regional politics in South Asia. Her most recent research is on the global politics of aging, and her new book is titled, As the World Ages: Rethinking a Demographic Crisis (Harvard University Press, 2018). She is currently engaged in a new book project on the history of consumption and disease risks in South Asia. Kavita’s research traces the transformation of bodies, metabolisms and minds in South Asia over the past century that have redrawn the map of South Asia’s epidemiological and social history. She is also collaborating with David Jones (Harvard University) and writing a monograph on heart disease in India and the making of new networks of medical expertise that has been supported by an NEH grant; and works with Jennifer Manly on a research project on cultures of aging and cognitive decline in India and South Africa (based on a PSSN grant from the Center for Science and Society at Columbia University)

Charu Singh

University of Cambridge

Charu Singh is the Adrian Research Fellow at Darwin College, Cambridge. Her research focuses on the history of knowledge circulation in early twentieth century north India. She’s co-convening an MPhil optional course at the Centre of South Asian Studies on the histories of science, knowledge, and power in the sub-continent.

Rosanna Dent

Rutgers University/NJIT

Rosanna Dent received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017 and completed a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at McGill University before joining the federated department of history at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers-Newark. As an assistant professor at NJIT, she teaches courses on the history of science, medicine, and technology, with an emphasis on the global South. She is currently working on a book manuscript on the history of twentieth century research in Xavante (Indigenous) communities in Central Brazil. The book examines how a half-century of iterative interactions of scholars and community members have shaped knowledge production as well as the political and social realities of both subjects and scholars. She argues that Indigenous subjects have fundamentally shaped the people and disciplines that researched them.

Whitney Laemmli

Carnegie Mellon University

Whitney Laemmli is a historian of modern science and technology. Her research explores data recording and storage, the body, and the interactions between technical practice, the arts, and political life in the twentieth-century United States and Europe. She is currently working on a book manuscript titled Measured Movements: The Human Body and the Choreography of Modern Life, which explores how a tool developed to record dance on paper in Weimar Germany found new application in the corporate boardrooms, robotics laboratories, and psychiatric hospitals of the mid-century U.S. and U.K. Other projects have investigated the material history of the ballet pointe shoe, the sexual rehabilitation of paraplegic World War II veterans, and the relationship between technology, religion, and secularism in the twentieth century. Prior to joining Carnegie Mellon, she was a member of Columbia University’s Society of Fellows in the Humanities (2016-2019) and received her PhD from the Department of History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania.