Anna Arabindan-Kesson

Anna Arabindan-Kesson is an Associate Professor of African American and Black Diasporic art with a joint appointment in the Department of Art and Archaeology. Born in Sri Lanka, she completed undergraduate degrees in New Zealand and Australia, and worked as a Registered Nurse in the UK before completing her PhD in African American Studies and Art History at Yale University. Professor Arabindan-Kesson’s research and teaching focus on Black Diaspora Art, with an emphasis on histories of race, empire, and medicine in the long 19th century. She also has interests in British, South Asian and Australian art. Her first book Black Bodies, White Gold: Art, Cotton, and Commerce in the Atlantic World, is available from Duke University Press. She is also writing a book, supported by an ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship, with Professor Mia Bagneris (Tulane University) called Beyond Recovery: Reframing the Dialogues of Nineteenth-Century Black Diaspora Art. Her second monograph is called An Empire State of Mind: Plantation Imaginaries, Colonial Medicine and Ways of Seeing. She is the director of Art Hx, a digital humanities project and object database that addresses the intersections of art, race and medicine in the British empire. Professor Arabindan-Kesson is a board member of several arts organisations, continues to curate exhibitions, and works closely with contemporary artists internationally.

Robert A. Aronowitz

Robert A. Aronowitz, M.D.,is Professor in the Department of History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania and the Walter H. and Leonore C. Annenberg Professor in the Social Sciences. He is author of Making Sense of Illness: Science, Society, and Disease (Cambridge University Press, 1998); Unnatural History: Breast Cancer and American Society (Cambridge University Press, 2007); Risky Medicine: Our Quest to Cure Fear and Uncertainty (University of Chicago Press, 2015); and co-editor of Three Shots at Prevention: The HPV Vaccine and the Politics of Medicine’s Simple Solutions (Hopkins, 2010), and has published widely on the history of medicine. Before his present position, Dr. Aronowitz was an attending physician at Cooper Hospital and taught at the RWJ medical school. At Penn, Aronowitz was the founding director of the Health and Societies Program and co-director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholars Program. He is currently working on a project, Medical efficacy in a highly intervened-in world, for which he received a Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. This project explores the history of how Americans have judged the safety and efficacy of medical interventions, with a focus on how the increasing number and novel combinations of medical interventions have undermined the straightforward translation of insights from clinical and laboratory experiments to the care of individuals.

He Bian

He Bian (Ch. 邊和) is Associate Professor of History and East Asian Studies at Princeton University. A historian of late imperial and a historian of science, Bian received her Ph.D. in History of Science from Harvard University in 2014. Her research interests span many topics pertaining to the question of authority and variation in China’s traditional culture, particularly in medicine and the natural sciences, between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. Overall, her passion lies in writing a new kind of Chinese cultural history that foregrounds knowledge of all kinds, and is also rigorously contextualized by institutional, social, and economic conditions of the day. Professor Bian’s first book, Know Your Remedies: Pharmacy and Early Modern Culture in China, 1500-1800 came out from Princeton University Press in Spring 2020. An interview with the New Books Network can be found here. She is at work on her second book project, The Formula of Happiness: A Social History of Medical Recipes in China’s Long Eighteenth Century. She is also writing a co-authored book on Manchu plant and animal names with Dr. Mårten Söderblom Saarela at Academia Sinica.

João Biehl

João Biehl is Susan Dod Brown Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Brazil LAB at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies. In his ethnographic and historical work, Biehl explores how people’s plasticity and environmental attunements disrupt and exceed dominant ways of knowing and acting, thus opening new vistas for storytelling and critical theory. Biehl has authored Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment and Will to Live: AIDS Therapies and the Politics of Survival. These books are ethnographic studies of the experience and treatment of mental illness and AIDS, respectively. Both Vita and Will to Live explore new regimes of normalcy and the geographies of access and marginalization that have emerged in Brazil alongside pharmaceutical globalization, paying particular attention to the proliferation of zones of social abandonment along with the growing pharmaceuticalization of society. They also elaborate on the circuits of care and the legal mobilization for workable infrastructures through which poor patients and families articulate alternative modes of existence and radical politics. Vita garnered mulitple major book awards. Will to Live was awarded the Wellcome Medal of Britain’s Royal Anthropological Society and the Diana Forsythe Prize of the American Anthropological Association. Biehl received the Rudolph Virchow Award for his articles The Activist State and Pharmaceuticalization. Concerned with the humanities of the unlettered and the conceptual force of the ethnographic open, Biehl has recently co-authored On Listening as a Form of Care, Unfinished: The Anthropology of Becoming, and Arc of Interference: Medical Anthropology for Worlds on Edge (forthcoming). He is also the co-author of the books When People Come First: Critical Studies in Global Health and Subjectivity: Ethnographic Investigations. Biehl is co-editor of the book series Critical Global Health at Duke University Press.  

D. Graham Burnett

D. Graham Burnett is Professor of History of Science at Princeton University, a writer/editor, and a 2013-2014 Guggenheim Fellow in residence as a Research Fellow at the Bard Graduate Center in New York City. The recipient of a 2009 Mellon New Directions Fellowship, he is currently working on connections between the sciences and the visual arts. His first book, Masters of All They Surveyed: Exploration, Geography, and a British El Dorado (2000), examines the relationship between cartography and colonialism in the nineteenth century. He is also the author of Descartes and the Hyperbolic Quest (2005), a monograph on Cartesian thought and seventeenth-century lens making, and A Trial By Jury (2001), a narrative account of his experience as the jury foreman on a Manhattan murder trial. His book Trying Leviathan: The Nineteenth-Century New York Court Case That Put the Whale on Trial and Challenged the Order of Nature (2007) won the 2007 Hermalyn Prize in Urban History and the New York City Book Award in 2008. In 2018, he published the co-authored KEYWORDS;…Relevant to Academic Life, &c., which subsequently appeared in a Turkish translation; more about that book here. More recently, his Twelve Theses on Attention (The Friends of Attention with Princeton University Press, 2021), co-edited with Stevie Knauss, offers an analysis of the politics of “joint attention” in the era of surveillance capitalism. Burnett has written essays and reviews for a variety of publications, including the New Yorker, Harper’s, the Economist, the American Scholar (where he served two terms on the editorial board), Daedalus (where he was a contributing editor), the New York Times, the Times Literary Supplement, and the New Republic. In 2008 he became an editor at the Brooklyn-based art magazine Cabinet, and he also serves on the editorial board of Lapham’s Quarterly.

Nancy Campbell

Nancy Campbell is Professor in the Department Head in the Department of Science and Technology Studies. She is a historian of science, technology, and medicine who focuses on legal and illegal drugs, drug science, policy, and treatment, harm reduction, and gender and addiction. Her most recent book is OD: Naloxone and the Politics of Overdose (MIT Press, 2020). “How have ideas about drugs and drug addiction changed over time? What do we know about drug addiction, and how do we know it? Why do we have the drug policies that we do?” said Campbell. “We consider some drugs to cause social problems, and others to solve them. Often we are talking about the same molecules—the differences lie in who uses them and how they do so. My research centers on scientific communities who make knowledge about drugs, and interactions between scientists, treatment providers, policymakers, patient advocates—and drug users themselves.” Campbell also studies the ethics of human subjects research; social movements; and the fruitful convergence between neuroscience and addiction research. She has published two books on gender: Gendering Addiction: The Politics of Drug Treatment in a Neurochemical World with Elizabeth Ettorre (Palgrave, 2011) and her first book, Using Women: Gender, Drug Policy, and Social Justice (Routledge, 2000), which was about how drug-using women figured in drug policy discourse from the 1910s to the 1990s. Campbell and co-authors JP Olsen and Luke Walden published a visual history of the federal drug treatment hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, titled The Narcotic Farm: The Rise and Fall of America’s First Prison for Drug Addicts (Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2008). Campbell also appeared in Olsen and Walden’s 2007 documentary, The Narcotic Farm, and she often speaks on radio shows about the relevance of this project to current drug treatment. Campbell’s scholarly book on the history of the formative science conducted by the laboratory at The Narcotic Farm, which was called the Addiction Research Center and is now the intramural research program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is titled Discovering Addiction: The Science and Politics of Substance Abuse Research (University of Michigan Press, 2007). With Joseph Spillane she created the Oral History of Substance Abuse Research Project, funded by the National Science Foundation, the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, and the University of Michigan Substance Abuse Research Center. In 2009 she received the Media Award from the College on Problems of Drug Dependence for her work on the history of the science of addiction research and treatment.

Maziyar Ghiabi

Maziyar Ghiabi is the Wellcome Trust Senior Lecturer in Medical Humanities and Social Sciences; and the current Director for the Centre of Persian And Iranian Studies (CPIS) at the IAIS. He is the author of Drugs Politics: Managing Disorder in the Islamic Republic of Iran (London: Cambridge University Press, 2019) which won  the MESA Book of the YEAR 2020, Nikkie Keddie Award for outstanding scholarly work on ‘revolution, society and/or religion’. Ghiabi joined Exeter thanks to a large Wellcome University Award in Medical Humanities which funds a 5-year research project on ‘Living “Addiction” in States of Disruption: a transdisciplinary approach to drug consumption and recovery in the Middle East’. The project explores addiction through the perspectives of drug users and people in recovery in contexts of war, revolution and other disruptive historical events. One of his research projects is concerned with drugs politics, i.e. how drugs affect state formation and state-society relations; and how the latter transform the phenomenon of drug consumption and drugs policy. Another important publication that he produced is an edited volume: Power and Illegal Drugs in the Global South (Routledge, 2020) with a forward by anthropologist Philippe Bourgois. This was followed by a second special issue on ‘The Everyday Lives of Drugs‘ (Third World Quarterly 2022). Another field of research is on the social theory of political life and political change in a comparative frame between the Arab world and other global cases of revolt/revolution/reaction. A book is forthcoming on this subject, co-authored with Billie Jeanne Brownlee. It is titled, A State without People: Revolt, Civil War, Displacement (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2024). So far, Ghiabi’s work has concerned Iran and West  and Central Asia, but he has also collaborated on projects on the Global South, especially in Central and South America. Ghiabi obtained my DPhil/PhD in Politics at Oxford University, based at St Antony’s college, where he also completed his MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies.

Katja Guenther

Katja Guenther is Professor of History of Science at Princeton University. She specializes in the history of the human sciences, especially the clinical and theoretical sciences of the mind and brain. She is a trained doctor (M.D., University of Cologne) who has worked in hospitals in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, and holds a research degree in neuroscience (M.Sc., Oxford University). She received her Ph.D. from the Department of the History of Science at Harvard. Her Localization and Its Discontents: A Genealogy of Psychoanalysis and the Neuro Disciplines (Chicago University Press, 2015) explores the shared but diverging practices and theoretical assumptions within the medicine of mind and brain. The Mirror and the Mind: A History of Self-Recognition in the Human Sciences (Princeton University Press, 2022) traces the history of the mirror self-recognition test, exploring how scientists from a range of disciplines—psychoanalysts, developmental and animal psychologists, cyberneticians, anthropologists, neuroscientists, and psychiatrists—came to read the peculiar behaviors that the mirror elicited. Paying close attention to the mirror as a material apparatus, the book investigates how experimenters have exploited its peculiar properties in their attempts to answer questions about the boundaries of the human. Guenther is working on a new book project tentatively titled Being Heard: A History of Therapeutic Listening in Twentieth Century America.

Helena Hansen

Helena Hansen, an MD, Ph.D. psychiatrist-anthropologist, is Professor and Interim Chair of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, and Interim Director of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. She is an international leader in the field of social medicine, and of integration of rigorous social science into academic medicine as well as into research on social determinants of health and health equity. She popularized the term “Translational Social Science” by launching UCLA medical school’s research theme in Health Equity and Translational Social Science as its inaugural chair from 2020-2023 . She is the author of three books: Whiteout: How Racial Capitalism Changed the Color of Opioids in America (with Jules Netherland and David Herzberg, University of California Press 2023); Structural Competency in Medicine and Mental Health: A Case-Based Approach to Treating the Social Determinants of Health (with Jonathan Metzl, Springer Press 2019); and Addicted to Christ: Remaking Men in Puerto Rican Pentecostal Drug Ministries (University of California Press 2018). She is the author of over 100 articles and chapters in leading clinical and social science journals, serves or has served on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Psychiatry, American Anthropologist, Milbank Quarterly and Medical Anthropology Quarterly among others, serves on the governing boards of the International Society for Addiction Medicine, the Lancet Commission on US Health Policy, the National Academy of Medicine Opioid Action Collaborative and the Drug Policy Alliance among others, and has received numerous awards, including an honorary doctorate from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, and election to the National Academy of Medicine in 2021. 

David Herzberg

David Herzberg is Professor of History at the University at Buffalo. He is a historian of drugs whose research focuses on the legal kind—psychoactive pharmaceuticals. His work, exploring the nature and trajectory of drug commerce, drug use, and drug policy in American racial capitalism, has appeared in numerous scholarly and medical journals, in popular media, and in three books:  White Market Drugs: Big Pharma and the Hidden History of Addiction in America (University of Chicago Press, 2020); Happy Pills in America: From Miltown to Prozac (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009); and (with Helena Hansen and Jules Netherland), Whiteout: How Racial Capitalism Changed the Color of Opioids in America (University of California Press, 2023). Herzberg is also co-editor of Social History of Alcohol and Drugs: An Interdisciplinary Journal, the official organ of the Alcohol and Drug History Society. He is currently working on two projects:  a history of healthcare workers (doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc.) and addiction in the U.S.; and a volume co-edited with Nils Kessel and Joseph Gabriel exploring alternatives to the drug-medicine divide as a frame for the history of psychoactive substances in 20th century Europe and America.

Laura Hirshbein

Laura Hirshbein is Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of History at University of Michigan. She completed her MD and psychiatry residency at the University of Michigan, and also completed a PhD in the history of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Hirshbein conducts research on the history of psychiatry, health policy, and diagnosis. Her work also includes research with significant health policy implications, such as mood and behavior disorders in children in the past, present, and future, as well as the organization of children’s healthcare services. Her first book, American Melancholy: Constructions of Depression in the Twentieth Century was published by Rutgers University Press in 2009. Her second book, Smoking Privileges: Psychiatry, the Mentally Ill, and the Tobacco Industry in America was published January 2015 with Rutgers University Press.

Sterling Johnson

Sterling Johnson is a PhD student in Geography and Urban Studies at Temple University. He  researches in the areas of Black geographies, anti-colonialism, feminist geography, carceral and abolition geographies. Their research is concerned with laws and morality and issues of social justice and liberation.

David Korostyshevsky

David Korostyshevsky, Ph.D., (University of Minnesota, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine) is an Instructor in the Department of History at Colorado State. His first book project examines the unexpected early American origins of “the addict” by studying the medico-legal construction of the “habitual drunkard.” This research reveals that the nineteenth-century quest to define, detect, and discipline the habitual drunkard across non-criminal law—including adult guardianship, divorce, and life insurance litigation—served as an important origin point for the disciplinary governance of people with ostensibly medical conditions like addiction. His publications include “An Artificial Appetite: The Nineteenth-Century Struggle to Define Habitual Drunkenness,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine (forthcoming, Fall 2024) and “Corrupting the body and mind: distilled spirits, drunkenness, and disease in early-modern England and the British Atlantic world,” in Alcohol, psychiatry and society: Comparative and transnational perspectives, c. 1700-1990s, Waltraud Ernst and Thomas Mueller, eds. (Manchester University Press, 2022), 36-65.

Jaeyoon Park

Jaeyoon Park is Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at Amherst College, where he begins a tenure-track position in July 2024. Park has a Ph.D., Political Science and Critical Theory, University of California, Berkeley. His book, Addiction Becomes Normal: On the Late-Modern American Subject, will be published in spring 2024 by the University of Chicago Press. This book examines how addiction has been reimagined as a normal feature of human nature and experience in much of American science, medicine, and politics over the last forty years. It argues that this change involves a radical rethinking of what it means to be human, and asks who or what the subject is, and how it can be governed, if we are all now or potentially addicts.

Samuel Kelton Roberts, Jr.

Samuel Kelton Roberts, Jr., PhD, is Associate Professor of History (Columbia University School of the Arts and Sciences) and Sociomedical Sciences (Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health), and is also a former Director of Columbia University’s Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS). Dr. Roberts writes, teaches, and lectures widely on African-American urban history, especially medicine, public health, and science and technology. His widely acclaimed book, Infectious Fear: Politics, Disease, and the Health Effects of Segregation (University of North Carolina Press, 2009), is an exploration of the political economy of race and the modern American public health state between the late nineteenth century and the mid-twentieth century, a period which encompasses the overlapping and mutually-informed eras of Jim Crow segregation and modern American public health practice. Roberts currently is researching and writing a book-length project on the United States’s troubled history of race and recovery, examining the social and political history of heroin addiction treatment from the 1950s to the early 1990s. This project traces urban policy at the beginning of the postwar heroin epidemic, the emergence of therapeutic communities, the politics of state-run addiction rehabilitation facilities, the adoption of methadone maintenance treatment in the 1960s and 1970s, the emergence of “radical recovery” movements and harm reduction and syringe exchange in the 1980s and 1990s. In 2013-14, Dr. Roberts was the Policy Director of Columbia University’s newly inaugurated Justice Initiative (now the Columbia University Center for Justice) and was the editor of the Center’s first research publication Aging in Prison: Reducing Elder Incarceration and Promoting Public Safety (2015). At the Columbia University Center for Science and Society, he leads the Research Cluster for the Historical Study of Race, Inequality, and Health. He also is the co-editor of Columbia University Press’s book series in Race, Inequality, and Health. In 2018, Dr. Roberts launched the podcast series People Doing Interesting Stuff (PDIS) (available on iTunes and other podcasting platforms) in which he speaks with people working in public health and social justice, especially harm reduction, HIV/AIDS work, reproductive justice, and criminal justice reform.

Jason Ruiz

Jason Ruiz is Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he is affiliated faculty with the Program in Gender Studies and the Institute for Latino Studies.  He is the author of Narco Media: Latinidad, Popular Culture, and America’s War o Drugs (University of Texas Press, 2023). Ruiz’s research focuses on American perceptions of Latin America with emphases on race, cultural and economic imperialism, tourism, gender, and sexuality.  His first book, Americans in the Treasure House: Travel to Porfirian Mexico and the Cultural Politics of Empire was published by the University of Texas Press in 2014.  Ruiz has also published in the Radical History Review, American Studies, ­­­Journal of Transnational American Studies, The Oral History Review, Aztlán, and elsewhere. In addition, he is the co-editor of four special issues and two books: Radical History Review #100 (Winter 2007)#123 (Fall 2015), #129 (Fall 2017), and #135 (forthcoming), Queer Twin Cities (University of Minnesota Press, 2010), and the Routledge History of American Sexualities (forthcoming), and has provided written commentary to the New York TimesFlow TV, The Chronicle of Higher Education and other media outlets.  He is the principal investigator of Latinx Murals of Pilsen, a digital research project devoted to public art in Chicago supported by the Whiting Foundation.  Ruiz is a 2016 recipient of the Edmund P. Joyce Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at Notre Dame.

Trysh Travis

Trysh Travis is Associate Professor and Waldo W. Neikirk Term Professor at the University of Florida in the Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research. Travis is a cultural and literary historian who focuses on gender and popular cultures in the 20th-century United States. Trained in the historical study of popular media forms, and in graduate school having developed a side interest in the culture of addiction and recovery, Travis combined these two interests in her first book, The Language of the Heart: 12-Step Recovery from AA to Oprah Winfrey (University of North Carolina Press, 2009). That book examines both the “bibliotherapeutic” dimensions of Alcoholics Anonymous, whose foundational texts were written and read almost exclusively by white men, and the recovery literature written by women and minority authors connected to AA’s many offshoots. Her anthology Re-Thinking Therapeutic Culture (University of Chicago Press, 2015, co-edited with Tim Aubry) extends her work on popular self-help and other “mental hygiene” movements; Travis blogs on these topics (among others) at Points: The Joint Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society and the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy.  Her current project is a long-overdue history of feminist responses to drug-using women. Tentatively titled “Feminists on Drugs: A History,” it is under contract with the University of Chicago Press.

Keith Wailoo

Keith Wailoo is Henry Putnam University Professor of History and Public Affairs. He is jointly appointed in the Department of History and in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. He is former Vice Dean of the School of Public and International Affairs, former Chair of History, and former President of the American Association for the History of Medicine (2020-2022). His research straddles history and health policy, touching on drugs and drug policy, on the politics of race and health, on the interplay of identity, ethnicity, gender, and medicine, and on controversies in genetics and society. His books include: Pushing Cool: Big Tobacco, Racial Marketing, and the Untold Story of the Menthol Cigarette (University of Chicago Press, 2021); Pain: A Political History (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014); How Cancer Crossed the Color Line (Oxford University Press, 2011); The Troubled Dream of Genetic Medicine (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006) (with Stephen Pemberton); Dying in the City of the Blues: Sickle Cell Anemia and the Politics of Race and Health (University of North Carolina Press, 2001); and Drawing Blood: Technology and Disease Identity in Twentieth Century America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997). Wailoo’s co-edited volumes on health, science, and social policy in the U.S. include: Medicare and Medicaid at 50: America’s Entitlement Programs in the Age of Affordable Care (Oxford University Press, 2015); Genetics and the Unsettled Past: The Collision of DNA, Race, and History (Rutgers University Press, 2012); Katrina’s Imprint: Race and Vulnerability in America (Rutgers University Press, 2010); Three Shots at Prevention: The HPV Vaccine and the Politics of Medicine’s Simple Solutions (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010); A Death Retold: Jesica Santillan, the Bungled Transplant, and Paradoxes of Medical Citizenship (University of North Carolina Press, 2006).