People

Edna Bonhomme

Postdoctoral Fellow (Aug 2017-Jul 2020)

PhD

Edna Bonhomme earned her PhD in History of Science at Princeton University. Her doctoral research, “Plague Bodies and Spaces: Medicine, Trade, and Death in Ottoman Egypt, 1705–1830 CE,” examined the ways that North African port cities not only functioned as liminal spaces for trade, but were also laboratory spaces for trade and imperialism. During her PhD studies, she was a lecturer at Drexel University in Philadelphia where she taught courses on the intersections between race, colonialism, and cinema. She was awarded the Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship (2012/2014), the Princeton Center for African American Studies Dissertation Research Fellowship (2013), and a New York Public Library Research Scholar. 

Edna is currently completing her manuscript Ports and Pestilence, which traces epidemics, public health, and scientific practice in Alexandria, Tripoli and Tunis. Her new project critically interrogates epidemics, surveillance data, and climate change in the 20th century, especially the ways that knowledge is represented and embodied in colonial and postcolonial contexts. Using North Africa and the Middle East as a case study, she goes to show how categories of disease and data collection are linked to postcolonial conceptualizations of health and power produce new bionic beings. Since becoming a Postdoctoral Fellow at MPIWG, Edna has been a lecturer in global histories of the subaltern at the Humboldt University in Berlin for the “Diversities of Knowledge Programme,” an initiative that encourages innovative teaching as well as Bard College Berlin where she taught a course on science and colonialism.

Edna’s work engages with digital humanities and critical media through various collaborative projects and performances. In 2018, she was co-awarded a grant by the Vereinigung bildender Künstlerinnen Österreichs (Austrian Association of Women Artists) to curate and produce critical media for “Scan the Difference: Gender, Surveillance, and Bodies” which was exhibited in Vienna, Austria. Moreover, she has engaged in various performance lectures including “Technologies of the Body” in Prague, Czech Republic and “Reparative Archaeologies” in Berlin, Germany.

At the MPIWG, she was the co-organizer for the “Critical Global History of Medicine” (2017–2019) and she is currently a co-organizer for the “Troubling the Epistemes and Postcolonialism” reading group (2019–Present). Edna has also co-organized a conference, “Power in Medicine” with the MPIWG through a joint partnership with EUME. Moreover, she co-created the podcast, “Decolonization in Action,” which explores the term “decolonial” and how it gets applied today by artists, researchers, and scientists. In addition to her academic and creative publications, she has written about surveillance, feminism, and the African diaspora for publications such as Africa is a Country, Analyses & Kritik, Contretemps Revue de Critique Communiste, Der Freitag, Mada Masr, and The Nation.

Selected publications

“Epidemics and Global History,” in Independent Social Research Foundation, Issue XVII Bulletin, The Past in the Present, September 2018.

“The Bubonic Plague In Search of Burial Sites and Memorial Sites in Eighteenth-Century Cairo,” in Plague and Contagion in the Islamic MediterraneanKalamazoo, MI: Arc Humanities Press, 2017 

Review of Joel Cabrita, The People's Zion: Southern Africa, the United States, and a Transatlantic Faith-Healing Movement. H-Socialisms, H-Net Reviews. October, 2019. URL: http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=52401 

Review of Sherry Sayed Gadelrab, Medicine and Morality in Egypt: Gender and Sexuality in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century. London: Tauris, 2016. Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, 13:2 (July 2017), 318–320, DOI: 0.1215/15525864-3861367 

Review of Mary Dewhurst-Lewis, Divided Rule: Sovereignty and Empire in French Tunisia, 1881-1938. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014. The Journal of North African Studies, 21:4 (May 2016): 726–728. DOI: 10.1080/13629387.2016.1181880 

Review of Clémentine Gutron, L'Archéologie en Tunisie (XIXe-XXe siècles): Jeux généalogiques sur l'Antiquité. Paris and Tunis: Éditions Karthala and IRMC, 2010. The Journal of North African Studies, 20:4 (July 2015), 678–680, DOI: 10.1080/13629387.2015.1059028 

 


 

Current Projects

Decolonization in Action
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Mapping Epidemics
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Completed Projects

No completed projects were found for this scholar.

Events

Early Career Seminar

TBC

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Reading Group

Troubling Epistemics and Postcolonialism

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Early Career Seminar

A Physicist Road to Emergence: A Revisited Story of “More Is Different”

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Reading Group

Troubling Epistemics and Postcolonialism

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Early Career Seminar

Animal Matter: Meat, Slaughterhouses, and Animals in Rio de Janeiro, the Capital City from the Brazilian Empire

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Reading Group

Troubling Epistemics and Postcolonialism

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Early Career Seminar

Leibniz, Crafft, and the Episode of the Phosphorus

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Reading Group

Troubling Epistemics and Postcolonialism

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Reading Group

Troubling Epistemics and Postcolonialism

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Workshop

Power in Medicine: Interrogating the Place of Medical Knowledge in the Modern Middle East

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Women, Race, and Medicine: Black Midwives in Early 19th-century Ottoman Egypt

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Thematic Cluster: Diseases and Health

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News & Press

Postdoctoral Fellow Edna Bonhomme in Analyse & Kritik on the cholera epidemic in Yemen

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Postdoctoral Fellow Edna Bonhomme Selected for Austrian Association of Women Artists (VBKÖ) Program

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Edna Bonhomme in The Conversation on the cholera epidemic in Yemen

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