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Dr Hannah-Louise Clark
What is disease, and how have individuals, communities, organizations, and states responded to it? How have the institutions, ideas, technologies, and micropractices of medicine enacted or destabilised understandings of race and religious difference? How has biomedicine been useful or problematic to statecraft and bureaucracy (and vice versa)? These formative questions inspire my research on the global history of science, medicine, and the interface between the French colonial and Islamic worlds.
My work draws on extensive training in the history of science, history of medicine in particular, and a long engagement with the history and languages of this region, including extended periods of study and research in Algeria, Egypt, France, Lebanon, and Morocco.
I currently hold the post of Research Associate in the Department of History, University of Glasgow, where I am developing my new Leverhulme Trust-funded project 'Healing the Body of the Nation? Healthcare and the State in Algeria, c.1800-1980'. My previous appointment was as Departmental Lecturer in European and World History at Trinity College, University of Oxford.
BA Hons, Modern History (2002) - Jesus College, University of Oxford
AM, Regional Studies-Middle East (2005) - Harvard University
Centre for Arabic Study Abroad full-year fellow (2007) - American University in Cairo
MA, History (2010) - Princeton University
PhD, History and History of Science (2014) - Princeton University
Research and Teaching Interests
- Global history of science, technology, and medicine
- History of disease
- Sociology of organizations and Organization Studies
- Colonialism and imperialism
- Arab, Muslim, Jewish relations with Europe
- Modern Middle East and North African history
My first published project focused on the intersection of biomedical categories and racial categories in the global history of syphilis research. Taking the Maghrib region under French colonial rule as a case study, I showed how researchers looked to civilizational and behavioural frameworks alongside clinical and laboratory evidence to create a disease category, ‘Arab syphilis’.
Subsequent published projects have explored the entwined histories of biomedicine, empire, and the modern bureaucratic state in Algeria under French colonial occupation. Two published articles document North Africans’ complex, at times contradictory relationship to French medicine and ultimately their relationship to the colonial state. Full details of all publications can be found (coming soon!) on my departmental webpage: http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/humanities/staff/hannah-louiseclark/
Another, active project is the first full-length study of Muslim medics in Algeria during the colonial period up to Algerian independence in 1962. Muslim medical auxiliaries, along with Jewish doctors, outnumbered Europeans in providing state medicine to rural areas. I engage organizational theories of secrecy and nonconformity, sociology of institutions, the history of medicine, and material histories of state governance to show the mechanisms through which systemic racial discrimination and attitudes to religion, Islam in particular, came to define medical auxiliaries’ practice of public health and its sphere of action.
My current research, recognised by a fellowship awarded by The Leverhulme Trust, applies a global and transregional lens to the history of health in North Africa. In this work, as in previous projects, I prioritise local perspectives and sources in Arabic.
- College of Arts, School of Humanities