CFP: Social Histories of Disease, Medicine and Healing in the Modern Me/NA

Editors: Stephanie Anne Boyle, New York City College of Technology (CUNY) & Christopher S. Rose, independent scholar, Austin, TX.

Deadline: June 1, 2021

We are soliciting abstracts for inclusion in an edited volume about the social histories of medicine, disease, and health/healing practices in the modern Middle East. This volume will illustrate how the study of medicine, disease, and healing reveal new aspects of the region’s history during the era prior to and during European imperialism, and during the era of 20th century state-building and decolonization. This is a period whose histories have traditionally described social and political history and are, therefore, primarily focused on elites and notables.

In recent decades there have been several excellent monographs and volumes on the history of medicine, health, disease, and healing, which have demonstrated the possibilities of using this history as a lens for social history, particularly when it comes to providing glimpses into the lives of rural peasants and the urban poor; the importance of public health as legitimation and justification for state-building projects; as a tool both of imperialism and against it; and in the formation of collective identities at all strata.

We seek to bring historians of medicine and science, social historians, cultural historians, and political historians whose work touches on public health, disease, and medicine into conversation with one another. We also want to bring historians who work on different parts of the Middle East and North Africa together to identify transnational trends and highlight issues that span the borders of modern nation-states.

Submissions from Ph.D. candidates (ABD) are welcome, as are submissions from scholars outside the United States (especially those working in the MENA itself).

Abstracts of 500-750 words (not including notes/bibliography) and a short (~100 word) biography should be sent as PDF, Word document (doc or docx), or Google doc to by June 1, 2021. Communication will be in English.

Authors will be notified by June 15, 2021, with submission of the chapter by September 1, 2021. Chapters should be between 6,500-8,000 words in length (including abstract and notes).

We are committed to a quick timeline. A major university press in the U.S. has expressed interest in reviewing the project for publication.

Contact the editors with any questions at:

For a list of possible topics & additional information, see:


Stay Connected

MESA offers several ways to stay connected: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, as well as listservs and trusty email notifications. To find out more, please follow the link below.

Connect Now