Bio

Greek bios βίος ‘(course of) human life.’

I am an invited researcher at the École normale supérieure (as part of the Chaire Moyen-Orient Mediterranée) and at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (as part of the Centre Alexandre Koyré). I am also a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University’s Society of Fellows.

I am broadly interested in the politics of life, health, and wealth. My interests lie at the intersection of history, philosophy, ethics, medicine and policy.

I hold an M.D. from the American University of Beirut (2006), an M.Sc. in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics (2007), and a Ph.D. in History of Science from Harvard University (2017).

My first book, Neuro: The New Brain Sciences and the Management of the Mind (Princeton University Press, 2013), co-authored with Nikolas Rose is the result of three years of intense cross- and inter-disciplinary research within the “Brain, Self and Society” project funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council. Our approach is indebted to Michel Foucault’s “history of the present” (itself indebted to Nietzsche’s genealogy of morality). However, our departure from Foucault and neo-Foucauldians lies in our position vis-à-vis science and medicine, which rather than being aggressively (and a priori) suspicious (“La bonne conscience des psychiatres m’a déçu” famously admitted Foucault) is one of “critical friendship.”

You can find reviews of Neuro in The New Yorker, The Lancet and Isis: A Journal of the History of Science Society, among others.

My second book project, which is currently underway, draws on my doctoral dissertation. It examines the history of modern psychiatric thinking and practice in the Middle East and uses shifting ideas about normality and pathology and ways to manage precarious lives as a lens into broader social, political, and ethical mutations in the region. The book is tentatively titled: ‘Asfuriyyeh: A History of Madness, Modernity, and War in the Middle East and is under contract with MIT Press.

Over the years my work has been generously supported by the LSE’s PJD Wiles Scholarship, the UK’s ESRC, the French government’s Chateaubriand Fellowship in the Humanities & Social Sciences, Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Fellowships, Harvard’s Weatherhead’s Center for International Affairs, Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard’s Hiebert Graduate Research Travel Award, Sciences Po and Harvard’s exchange fellowship and Columbia University’s Society of Fellows.