Lauren Minsky

Assistant Professor of History

University of Pennsylvania, PhD

Office Address: 

NYUAD PO Box 129188 Abu Dhabi, UAE


971 2 628 4184

Field of Study: 

South Asia

Areas of Research/Interest: 

South Asia; Indian Ocean; World; Agrarian Environments; Global Public Health; History of Science, Technology and Medicine

External Affiliations:

Centre for Global Health Histories, University of York; Editorial Advisory Board, "Medical History"

Research Description:

Minsky’s research integrates histories of environment, health, medicine, and material religion in the Indian Ocean world, with a past focus on the Punjab and Indus Valley and a current focus on pan-oceanic networks that span the wider region, including the Gulf. Her courses at NYUAD include a core course on Disease and Society and several history electives that include: South Asia in the Indian Ocean world; Islam in the Indian Ocean world; Global Environmental History; and Global History of Medicine.


Lauren Minsky received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. She joined NYUAD after spending three years as an Assistant Professor of History at North Carolina State University and a year as a Mellon Fellow for Assistant Professors at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. She has also held a Fulbright-Hays fellowship from the US Department of Education; IDRF and Book fellowships from the Social Science Research Council; a Title VI Language and Area Studies fellowship from the University of Pennsylvania; and a Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Reflecting her interdisciplinary interests, Minsky worked for four years in a pediatric cancer genetics laboratory before beginning her graduate studies in history. She is the co-author of articles in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Human Molecular Genetics, Cancer Genetics, Cancer Genetics and Cytogenetics, and Cancer Research. Since 2012, Minsky has also served as a member of the Editorial Board for the journal Medical History.


Minsky is the recipient of Fulbright-Hays, SSRC-IDRF, and SSRC Book fellowships, and a former member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

Selected Works:

Cultivating Health: A Peasant History of Healing in Punjab from the Thirteenth to Twentieth Century (book manuscript in progress).
“Of Health and Harvests: Seasonal Mortality and Commercial Rice Cultivation in the Punjab and Bengal Regions of South Asia” in Francesca Bray, Peter Coclanis, Edda Fields-Black, and Dagmar Schaefer, eds. Rice: A Global History (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2013).

Pursuing Protection from Disease: The Making of Smallpox Prophylactic Practice in Colonial Punjab,” in Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Spring 2009, 83: 163-189.

Review of: Gunnel Cederlöf, Landscapes and the Law: Environmental Politics, Regional Histories, and Contests Over Nature. Ranikhet, India: Permanent Black, 2008. In Environmental History, v.14, no.2, April 2009: 379 – 380.

Review of: Joseph Morgan Hodge, Triumph of the Expert: Agrarian Doctrines of Development and the Legacies of British Colonialism. Series in Ecology and History, Ohio University Press. In Journal of British Studies, v.47 no.3 July 2008: 730-731.

“Re-thinking Therapeutic Efficacy: Environment and Medical Development in Colonial Punjab,”
in Wellcome History, Issue 34, Spring 2007, p. 4-5.

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Updated on 08/19/2013