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Graduate Study in History of Science,Technology, Environment, and Health

About the Program

Coordinators

Professor James Delbourgo, Rutgers-New Brunswick, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Professor Neil Maher, NJIT/Rutgers-Newark, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The graduate program in Science, Technology, Environment, and Health (STEH), one of several transnational areas of concentration in the History Ph.D. program, brings together faculty from each of the Rutgers campuses (New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden), NJIT and related centers, including the Thomas Edison Papers.

The STEH program draws Ph.D. students from all areas of historical study. It encourages students to develop a thematic expertise in environmental transformations, science and technology in society, and the histories of health and disease by investigating their social meanings, political and social histories, and their national and transnational contexts. Rather than a specialized or self-contained history of science or history of medicine program, STEH encourages graduate students to think across traditional subject boundaries and connect their interests in STEH to larger historical questions as part of the broader curriculum offered by the History Department. Recent STEH graduate students currently hold tenure-track positions at Virginia Tech, the University of Utah, and Queens College of the City of New York, and have been awarded postdoctoral fellowships at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs and the Center for Health and Wellbeing, and Birkbeck, University of London.

Students pursuing a major or minor field in STEH will have the opportunity to take colloquia that integrate the subfields of the history of science, history of technology, environmental history, and history of medicine. We aim to offer at least one course in each subfield in any two-year cycle. Independent studies with individual professors can also be taken for credit as can courses at neighboring schools, including Princeton, NYU, Columbia and Penn, as well as Rutgers Newark and Camden. Nationally, regionally and globally framed approaches are all welcome. Recent colloquia have included significant interplay with the department’s program in global history and include early modern science in Atlantic and global perspective; the history of energy; and collecting, race and museums. Students will be able to count other non-STEH courses (e.g., those listed in global history) toward the major or minor with faculty approval, provided that the content is relevant to STEH.

Recent and upcoming events showcasing the innovative work of STEH faculty and graduate students at Rutgers include the following:

  • A three-year seminar at the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis on Networks of Exchange: Mobilities of Knowledge in a Globalized World, co-directed by James Delbourgo and Toby Jones from 2012-2015. http://rcha.rutgers.edu/past-projects/networks-of-exchange/project-description
  • The “Natura” Graduate Student Working Group (English and History): http://britishstudies.rutgers.edu/working-groups/natura
  • The 13th annual Workshop for Environment, Agriculture, Technology, and Science (WHEATS), organized by Jamie Pietruska and 10 graduate students, will be hosted by Rutgers for the first time in Fall 2016. 

Recent Graduate Courses with Syllabi

Collecting the World: Assembling Objects From Antiquity to the Present (Delbourgo, 2013)

Colloquium in the History of Medicine (Schoen, 2015)

Colloquium in the History of Technology (Pietruska, 2014)

Early Modern Atlantic and Global Exchanges in History of Science (Delbourgo, 2015)

Global Environmental History (Maher, 2012)

Global Toxic History (Jones, 2014)

Topics in Environmental History: The American City (Maher, 2014)

Topics in the History of Health (Pemberton, 2015)

Upcoming Graduate Courses

Science, Museums and Race (Delbourgo, 2016)

Major field in STEH

Students majoring in STEH are required to take a minimum of four courses as described above (this may include independent studies, outside courses, etc.) Colloquia in history of science, history of technology (510:535), environmental history (510:534), history of health and medicine (510:536) will address core methodological concerns in the field concerned in addition to focusing on specific periods and geographies.

Minor field in STEH

Students minoring in STEH are required to take a minimum of three courses as described above (this may include independent studies, outside courses, etc.) Colloquia in history of science, history of technology (510:535), environmental history (510:534), history of health and medicine (510:536) will address core methodological concerns in the field concerned in addition to focusing on specific periods and geographies.

Faculty Participating in the STEH Program

NEW BRUNSWICK

Tuna Artun
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Princeton
Late Medieval and Early Modern Middle East and Balkans; Alchemy in the Ottoman world; Byzantine History 

Barbara Cooper
Professor of History and Department Chair
Ph.D., Boston University
History of Motherhood, Fertility, Reproduction, West Africa

James Delbourgo
Associate Professor: History of Science and Atlantic World
Ph.D., Columbia
Atlantic world; early modern science; global exchanges; history of collecting and museums; seventeenth and eighteenth centuries

Leah DeVun
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Columbia
Medieval and Renaissance; science, gender and sexuality

Paul Israel
Director and General Editor, The Thomas Edison Papers
Ph.D., Rutgers
Innovation and Intellectual Property; American Social History

Toby Jones
Associate Professor of History and Director, Global and Comparative History Master's Degree Program 
Ph.D., Stanford
Middle East, Global Technoscience, Environment

Xun Liu
Associate Professor of History
Ph.D., University of Southern California
Religion, Medicine, and Material Culture in China

Jamie Pietruska
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., MIT
Knowledge infrastructures, Envirotech, American cultural history

Johanna Schoen
Associate Chair and Vice Chair for Undergraduate Education
Ph.D., University of North Carolina
History of women and medicine, history of reproduction rights, history of sexuality

Gail Triner
Professor of History
Ph.D., Columbia
Modern Latin American History, Environmental History, Brazil, Economic History

NEWARK/NEW JERSEY INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

Neil Maher
NJIT Associate Professor and Graduate History Coordinator of the Concentration in History of Technology, Environment and Medicine
Ph.D., NYU
Environmental History; Social and Political History

Stephen Pemberton
NJIT Associate Professor and Chair
Ph.D., UNC Chapel Hill
Medicine, Biomedical Science & Technology, Health and Disease

Richard Sher
NJIT Distinguished Professor
Ph.D., Chicago
Technology, Printing and Communication

CAMDEN

Janet Golden
Professor of History
Ph.D., Boston University
Pediatrics; Women and Medicine in America

Margaret Marsh
Distinguished Professor of History and University Professor Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, New Brunswick
Ph.D., Rutgers
Reproductive Medicine and Technology; Women's History

Scholarly and Funding Resources

Bern Dibner Library of Science and Technology http://library.poly.edu/

Chemical Heritage Foundation https://www.chemheritage.org/

Columbia Center for Science and Society http://nychistoryofscience.squarespace.com/about/

Columbia University Health Sciences Library, Archives and Special Collections http://library.cumc.columbia.edu/

Hagley Museum and Library http://www.hagley.org/

H-Environment https://networks.h-net.org/h-environment

H-Rural https://networks.h-net.org/h-rural

H-Sci-Med-Tech https://networks.h-net.org/h-sci-med-tech

Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation http://invention.si.edu/

Max Planck Institute for the History of Science http://www.mpg.de/150889/wissenschaftsgeschichte

New York Academy of Medicine http://www.nyam.org/

NYC History of Science Working Group   http://www.nychistoryofscience.com/

PACHS: Philadelphia Center for the History of Science http://www.pachs.net/

Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society http://www.carsoncenter.uni-muenchen.de/index.html

The Thomas Edison Papers http://edison.rutgers.edu/

Wellcome Library http://wellcomelibrary.org/

Links to Professional Organizations

     Science 

     Technology

     Environment

     Health

 

Graduate Students in STEH and related fields

Zachary Bennett
Atlantic World and Early America
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Zachary received his B.A. from Northern Michigan University and his M.A. from Miami University of Ohio.  His interests center on environmental and economic history in colonial North America and the early United States.  Current research projects analyze rivers as contested geographical spaces where cultures articulate competing notions of political economy and property rights

Christopher Blakley
Colonial, STEH, Early Modern European History
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Christopher received his MA in History from North Carolina State University, 2013, and his BA from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, 2011. His fields of study are early America, history of science, and environmental history. His research examines overlapping networks of early modern science, particularly environmental knowledge, and slavery in the Atlantic World. This research looks at intellectual exchanges and intersections between European and African ideas about nature and plantation environments. In 2015 he presented research on slavery and iron ore mining in colonial Virginia at Temple University. This project investigates how Virginia planters in the 1720s articulated their role in the British empire as masters of both American environments and enslaved Africans.

AJ Blandford
American History,STEH
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AJ received a BA in Architecture and Visual Arts from Barnard College. Her research is focused on the environmental and cultural histories of North American mining and the global metals trade in the 18th and early 19th century.

Rachel Bunker
American History, STEH
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Rachel is a historian of political economy and the history of technology. Her dissertation examines the growth of the consumer information economy during the twentieth century in the United States and Latin America. Specifically, she traces the construction of networks and the circulation of consumer information exchange between corporations, in particular insurance companies and credit firms, and the state. Rachel is interested in how these material networks simultaneously shaped and were influenced by discourses on privacy, surveillance, equality, state authority, and corporate sovereignty in the latter decades of the twentieth century. During the 2015-2016 academic year, Rachel is serving as a graduate student fellow at the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis. Before coming to Rutgers, she received her MA in History from the University of Georgia and her MAT in Social Studies from Lewis and Clark College.

Hilary Buxton
Modern European History, Britain,Empire, Women’s and Gender
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Hilary received her B.A. in History from Smith College in 2011.  She is currently a fifth year doctoral student at Rutgers studying nineteenth and twentieth century body politics, gender, and medicine within the British Empire.  Her dissertation project explores race, rehabilitation, and the politics of healing non-white Commonwealth troops in the Great War and its aftermath.

Raechel Lutz
American, STEH
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Raechel earned her B.A. in History and Art History from Ithaca College in 2007. While working at the Montclair Art Museum in Montclair, NJ, she earned her M.A. in History from Rutgers University - Newark in 2010. Raechel's research explores the intersections between nature, work, and identity in the U.S.

Taylor Moore
Middle Eastern History, Women's and Gender History
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Taylor Moore received her BA in Honors Political Science and Sociology from The American University in Cairo in 2013. She is currently a third year PhD student specializing in Modern Middle East History. Her work focuses on the intersections of race, political economy, ethno-botany/folk medicine, and the development of natural and social sciences in nineteenth-century Upper Egypt.

Marika Plater
American History, STEH
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Marika is a third-year doctoral student at Rutgers after receiving a B.A. from Bard College in 2008 and an M.A. from Brooklyn College in 2013. Marika is interested in U.S. environmental history, particularly in diverse and divergent ideas about nature in late nineteenth and early twentieth-century New York City.

David Reid
American History, modern Mexico
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David earned a BA in Spanish and History from Dalhousie University in Halifax and an MA in History from York University in Toronto. His dissertation examines Mexican water politics in the Cold War, focusing on a dispute between Mexico and the United States over salt contamination in the Colorado River in the 1960s and early 70s. It explores environment, infrastructure, and economic development in statecraft and the links between local, national, and international politics.

Paul Sampson
Early American History, STEH
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Historians have conceived of the British Atlantic as a collection of liminal spaces. As people migrate and interact with one another, their ideas about society, religion, and race are tested, reconfigured, and sometimes cast aside. My own research aims to explore how this process of creating and refining scientific knowledge interacted with religious beliefs about the nature of the universe. I am also curious about how these changing realities that originated in the realm of science affected social structure and political arrangements in the age of Atlantic revolutions. 

Ryan Driskell Tate
American History,Women's and Gender, labor, social
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Ryan is a third-year PhD student studying the twentieth century United States. His interests lie broadly in energy and the environment; social politics and social protest; labor and work; and women’s and gender history. His current project examines grassroots resistance movements to expanding energy infrastructures, and how, between the 1960s and 1980s, these social activists connected their movements to broader cultural criticisms about the role of technology in American life. He received his B.A. in Honors History from Hamline University.

Meagan Wierda
Nineth-century American History, STEH
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Broadly speaking, I'm interested in questions of race, medicine and embodiment during the nineteenth century. In particular, though, I want to investigate how the mutual use of science--by slavery’s defenders as well as its detractors--both indicates the discipline's growing authority to frame the debate on slavery as well as its flexibility to simultaneously confirm and deny the shared humanity of slaves and their owners. How could medicine, which makes corporeal, have bolstered the institution of slavery, which was fundamentally about negating or destroying the body? 

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