McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine

Ellen Amster

Ellen Amster

Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

web: Ellen Amster's webpage

Chair Donor

Associated Medical Services

Research Focus

  • The history of public health in global context
  • Theoretical approaches to the body and the body politic in the West and the Islamic world, epistemologies of science and medicine
  • Mixed-methods (qualitative and quantitative) approaches to studying maternal and infant health, barriers to care, the cultural experience of illness, and infant health
  • Modern French history of medicine and science, Islamic history of science, Colonial histories of science
  • Global health
  • Political Islam, Islamic politics, Sufism

Teaching and Service Focus

  • Contributing towards developing scholarship in the history of medicine and encouraging MD, nursing, midwifery, OT/PT, Bachelor of Health Sciences, and other professional students in the Faculty of Health Sciences to be interested in the history of their discipline.
  • Development of a History of Medicine and Medical Humanities Research Portal and research resources for students in the history of medicine
  • Providing the summer undergraduate interdisciplinary global health study abroad program, "Maternal and Infant Health in Morocco: Women's Rights and Family in Islam."
  • Development of research and placement opportunities for health sciences students in Morocco.
  • Providing lectures to Health Sciences departments and programs, providing a regular rounds series in the history of medicine open to the wider university throughout the year, providing a Professional Competencies session in the MD program, and supporting student electives and research projects for MD, nursing, OT/PT, Bachelor of Health Sciences, and Midwifery.
  • Courses in the Department of History, "The Citizen-Patient: A History of Modern Public Health, 1700-Present," and "Early Islamic History, 500-1258."
  • Lectures in the Master of Public Health program

Additional Information


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