Fellowship / Fellows

Joelle M. Abi-Rached

  • 2023–2024
  • History
  • Mildred Londa Weisman Fellow
  • Independent Scholar
Portrait of Joelle M. Abi-Rached
Photo courtesy of Joelle M. Abi-Rached

Joelle M. Abi-Rached is a historian of medicine who originally trained as a medical doctor. For the past two years, she served as a lecturer on the history of science at Harvard, where she taught courses on the history of psychiatry, medicine, and global health. Her monograph ʿAṣfūriyyeh: A History of Madness, Modernity, and War in the Middle East (MIT Press, 2020) won the Jack D. Pressman-Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Development Award in 20th Century History of Medicine or Biomedical Sciences from the American Association for the History of Medicine. She also coauthored Neuro: The New Brain Sciences and the Management of the Mind (Princeton University Press, 2013).

At Radcliffe, Abi-Rached is working on her next book project, tentatively titled “The Resilient Society: A History of Violence, Colonialism, and Our Psychiatric Present.” Drawing on psychiatric, medical, and scientific literatures as well as on conversations with various experts, the book proposes a new global history of trauma from the 19th century to the present.

Abi-Rached’s research has appeared in magazines, newspapers, policy forums, and academic journals spanning a variety of disciplinary interests and languages (English, French and Arabic). She has received numerous awards, grants, and fellowships, including from Columbia University’s Society of Fellows. She was recently voted a favorite professor by the Harvard College Class of 2023. Abi-Rached holds an MD from the American University of Beirut, an MSc in philosophy and public policy from the London School of Economics, and a PhD in history of science from Harvard.

Our 2023–2024 Fellows

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