Graduate Student in the History of Islamic Medicine, Department of the History of Science at Harvard University
- Region: Middle East; South Asia
- Time: 14th century; 15th century
Theme: History of Gender and Sexuality; History of Science; History of the Body
Shireen Hamza’s dissertation project is a reassessment of the concept of “Islamic medicine” by studying this scholarly medical tradition, ṭibb, across the Indian Ocean World. Working on texts of both Galenic and Ayurvedic medicine composed in Arabic and Persian between the 13th and 15th centuries, she shows the coexistence of and exchange between multiple traditions of healing. Focusing on medicine at medieval courts, madrasas and port cities in Yemen and Gujarat, she traces the circulation and transformation of disease categories and medicinal substances. Her work has been supported by the Social Science Research Council and the Fulbright Commission.
As part of her secondary field in Critical Media Practice, she explores questions of gender and historical memory with contemporary practitioners of Unani medicine in India. She is a managing editor for the Ottoman History Podcast, and wrote and produced Ventricles, a podcast on science outside the West.