Liver and the Embodiment of Disease: Interview with Jennifer Derr

On 11th and 12th April 2019, the workshop “Power in Medicine: Interrogating the Place of Medical Knowledge in the Modern Middle East” will take place in Berlin. It is organized by Edna Bonhomme, Shehab Ismail, (both MPIWG) and Lamia Moghnieh (AUB, EUME) and will be convened by Europe in the Middle East—Middle East in Europe (EUME) and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG). The workshop will examine the history and politics of medicine and psychiatry in the Middle East from the 1800s until the contemporary period. Please find workshop program here and the poster here.

Jennifer Derr is one of the participants of the workshop. In this audio recording, co-organizer Edna Bonhomme interviews her about her upcoming research project on the history of hepathitis and the liver in Egypt.

Jennifer L. Derr

Jennifer L. Derr is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz where she teaches courses in the history of the modern Middle East, critical geography, and the history of medicine. She completed a Ph.D. in History at Stanford University in 2009. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from Stanford University and a Master of Arts from Georgetown University in Contemporary Arab Studies. Professor Derr’s research examines the intersections among science, medicine, political economy, and the environment in the modern Middle East. Her first manuscript, The Lived Nile: Environment, Disease, and Material Colonial Economy in Egypt, is forthcoming from Stanford University Press in July 2019.

The interview was conducted by Edna Bonhomme. Edna is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for History of Science where she is working on her book manuscript “Ports and Pestilence in Alexandria, Tripoli, and Tunis” which addresses the convergence of sanitary imperialism and traditional medicine during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.


Forum Transregionale Studien

The Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien is a research organization that promotes the internationalization of research in the humanities and social sciences. The Forum provides scope for collaboration among researchers with different regional and disciplinary perspectives and appoints researchers from all over the world as Fellows. In cooperation with universities and research institutions in Berlin and the rest of Germany, it carries out research projects that examine other regions of the world and their relationship to Germany and Europe systematically and with new questions.

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