Fellowship / Fellows

Joelle M. Abi-Rached

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

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. Her monograph ʿAṣfūriyyeh: A History of Madness, Modernity, and War in the Middle East (MIT Press, 2020) was recognized by the American Association for the History of Medicine “for outstanding work in 20th century 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 such high-profile journals as Nature Medicine and the New England Journal of Medicine and in publications such as Aeon, the Boston Review, and Le Monde. She has written reports for think tanks and the World Health Organization. She is the recipient of 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 earned 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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