Ellen J Amster
Associate Professor, Family Medicine

Dr. Amster is the Jason A. Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine and jointly appointed to the Departments of Family Medicine and Religious Studies.
She is an expert in the history of medicine in the West, the Islamic world, and French empire. An interdisciplinary historian and qualitative health researcher in global health, she brings together history with health and religious studies.
Areas of interest: history of public health, Islam and North Africa, France and French empire, maternal and infant health, global primary care, Islamic studies, religion and nonwestern healing systems, colonialism and postcolonial theory, and women's histories and gender.
Current research projects include: The Morocco-Canada Network in Maternal and Infant Health (CIHR funding), the histories of public health, midwifery, antiracism and critical race theory in medical education, a SSHRC-funded book project on drag and transvestism in North Africa, Sufism, Sufi saints and healing in Morocco, and graphic medicine. Also medical humanities, the material and visual cultures of religion (Judeo-Islamic), and women's histories.
Teaches public health, gender and religion, Middle East/North Africa for Department of Religious Studies, the Master of Public Health Program, and the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. She also organizes a yearly history of medicine rounds for the community, the Hannah History of Medicine and Medical Humanities Speaker Series.
Created History of Medicine and Medical Humanities Research Portal with grants, libraries, archives, museums, and digitized collections in the history of medicine, https://medhumanities.mcmaster.ca/, with grant funding from AMS, Associated Medical Services.
Her research has been funded by the IIE Fulbright-Hayes, the Chateaubriand Program of the French Government, the Social Science Research Council, the American Institute for Maghrib Studies, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, and the Canadian Institutes for Research in Health.
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