My research explores the history of infectious disease in colonial India. The project is a historical epidemiology focusing on malaria in colonial Assam, India between 1826 and 1939. There is a lack of historical research that focuses on malaria in colonial Assam, though it was by far the deadliest infectious disease in the province and a prominent factor in the history of India. My work addresses this gap in current historiography, and the aim of the project is to produce a history of malaria by exploring the intersection of medical, colonial, and environmental histories. My methodological approach views disease as both a biological phenomenon and a social phenomenon. As a historian, I strive to understand malaria’s unique aetiology and epidemiological presence in Assam while acknowledging the role social perceptions of the disease play in creating a disease narrative, influencing policy, and affecting the practice of epidemiology. In my dissertation, I argue that malaria played a much more prominent role in colonial Assam than previously thought and that the specific disease, political, and public health landscapes of Assam situate the province in a unique position within the British Empire.
Prior to my doctorate, I completed a Master’s in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology at the University of Oxford. I graduated magna cum laude from Chapman University with a BA in History and in Political Science.