Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact

Ellen Amster

PhD (U of Pennsylvania), MA (U of Pennsylvania), BA (U of Chicago)

Associate Professor, Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact

Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine

Joint Member, Department of History

905 525 9140 x 20006

Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact
1280 Main St. West
Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1


Academic Interests

Dr. Amster has research interests in the history of biomedicine in global context, maternal and infant health, public health, the body as the center of political sovereignty, and the encounter of French and Islamic medical epistemologies.  She favors qualitative and mixed-methods to study the social life of health policy, barriers to care, the cultural experience of illness, and social attitudes to birth, midwifery, sexuality, violence against women, and infant health in Morocco.

Selected Publications

  1. Forthcoming, “The Syphilitic Arab?  A Search for Civilization in Disease Etiology, Prostitution, and Public Hygiene,” to appear in ed. Patricia Lorcin and Todd Shepard (eds.), French Mediterraneans, (University of Nebraska Press).
  2. Forthcoming, “The Mad Saint as Healer:  The Islamic Majnun in al-Kattani’s Salwat al-Anfas and in French Colonial Medicine and Sociologie,” to appear in Henk de Smaele (ed.), Sign or Symptom?  Exceptional Corporeal Phenomena in Medicine and Religion (19th and 20th century), (Leuven:  University of Leuven Press).
  3. Medicine and the Saints: Science, Islam and the Colonial Encounter in Morocco, 1877-1956, (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2013).
  4. "Abd al-Salam" and "Adarraq," in Marc Gaborieau, Gudrun Krämer, John Nawas and Everett Rowson (eds), The Encyclopedia of Islam 3 (Leiden: Brill, 2013).
  5. “Rumor and Revolution:  Medicine, Technology, and Popular Politics in Pre-Protectorate Morocco, 1877-1912,” in ed. Driss Maghraoui, Revisiting the Colonial Past in Morocco, (London and New York:  Routledge, 2013):  87-111.
  6. "'The Harem Revealed' and the Islamic-French Family: Aline de Lens and a Frenchwoman's Orient in Lyautey’s Morocco," French Historical Studies, Spring 2009 (32:2).
  7. "Saints and the Islamic City: Looking for Sacred Space in Fes, Morocco," The Urban History Newsletter, October 2006, Number 35: 1-3. 
  8. "The Many Deaths of Dr. Emile Mauchamp: Medicine, Technology, and Popular Politics in Pre-Protectorate Morocco, 1877-1912," International Journal of Middle East Studies. Volume 36, August 2004, 409-428.
  9. "The Attacks Were a Bid for Power in the Arab World," International Herald Tribune, September 18, 2001.

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