Institute of Historical Studies
Institute of Historical Studies

Christopher S. Rose and Eyal Weinberg awarded Postdoc Fellowships at IHS in 2019-20

Wed, May 15, 2019
Christopher S. Rose and Eyal Weinberg awarded Postdoc Fellowships at IHS in 2019-20
Left to right: Chris Rose, and Eyal Weinberg

History Ph.D. Candidates Christopher S. Rose and Eyal Weinberg have been selected as the Institute's internal postdoctoral fellows for 2019-2020. Their doctoral degrees will be officially awarded this Spring. As postdoctoral fellows, they will use their year to transform their dissertations into book manuscripts for publication, to present their research at IHS workshops, and to participate in the Institute's lively intellectual community. Each will teach a course in the Department of History.

Chris Rose’s project, “Toward a History of the Egyptian Home Front During World War I,” focuses on the history of health and medicine in Egypt during World War I, a period that is usually overlooked in Egyptian historiography in favor of a nationwide uprising against British colonial rule in 1919. In the “official” narrative that was developed under the patronage of the Egyptian royal court in the 1920s, the uprising was re-imagined as a revolution, and the war years reduced to a period of simmering nationalist tension. However, there was significant suffering on the civilian home front during the war. Food requisitions and price control policies implemented by the colonial administration caused shortages and high inflation among basic food staples; as a result, the majority of Egyptians were malnourished by late 1916. Epidemic diseases which had long been under control returned in record high numbers.

The events of the war, combined with years of government inattention to health and medical infrastructure in rural areas, left the majority of the civilian population vulnerable during the war, even as hundreds of thousands of British and imperial troops were mustered in through Egypt to fight the campaign against the Ottoman Empire. Nearly two hundred thousand civilians died of communicable diseases during the war, which public health officials recognized at the time was likely exacerbated by widespread malnutrition.

"My project seeks to restore this period of history to prominence, outlining what happened on the Egyptian home front during the war," Rose said, "and re-positioning the widespread support of the rural population for the 1919 uprising as the direct effect of their wartime experiences.
Rose is a founding co-host of the podcast 15 Minute History, and is immediate past-president of the Middle East Outreach Council. He has also been an adjunct instructor in the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas, teaching courses in Cultural Foundations, Global Studies, and History.
Eyal Weinberg’s project, “Tending to the Body Politic: Doctors, Military Repression, and Transitional Justice in Brazil (1961-1988),” is the first study to explore the contested realms of professional medicine, bioethics, and political repression in military and post-authoritarian Brazil.  Interweaving historiographies of medicine, political violence, and human rights in Cold War Latin America, his project advances two principal arguments.

"First," Weinberg says, "it illustrates how conflicts between progressive and conservative physicians shaped medical practice and ethics under military rule. Brazilian conservative authorities supported the 1964 military coup and the regime’s market-oriented healthcare reforms. Hundreds of doctors, psychiatrists, and nurses even served the dictatorship’s intricate security apparatus, overseeing torture sessions and falsifying victims’ death certificates in the name of national security. On the other side, he shows, were leftist doctors who actively opposed the dictatorship, suffering the brunt of regime repression."

Second, the dissertation demonstrates that the institutionalization of bioethics formed a critically overlooked element in Brazil’s protracted process of redemocratization and transitional justice. Beginning in the mid-1970s, progressive doctors mobilized to remove the professional old guard that had condoned repression and privatization of healthcare. Under the new leadership, various medical boards across the country initiated disciplinary investigations into the involvement of physicians in the regime’s security apparatus.

"In the context of an Amnesty Law (1979) that shielded human rights violators, I show, the boards’ hearings and subsequent suspensions of doctor-perpetrators represented unprecedented attempts to hold accountable medical accomplices in repression."
Weinberg is a former graduate research assistant at the IHS, coordinator of the New Work in Progress workshop series for advanced doctoral students, and an affiliate with the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at UT Austin. His new article “‘With colleagues like that, who needs enemies?’: Doctors and Repression under Military and Post-Authoritarian Brazil,” is forthcoming in The Americas.

Story by Kazushi Minami, IHS Graduate Research Assistant and Doctoral Candidate, UT History.

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