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Aparna Nair

OU Dodge Family College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, The University of Oklahoma wordmark
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Photographic portrait of Aparna Nair
Aparna Nair


Assistant Professor of the History of Science

  • Ph.D. (History and Demography) Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, 2010
  • Masters in Public Health (Health and Social Behaviour) Harvard Chan School of Public Health, Cambridge, MA, 2013
  • M.S. (Economic History) London School of Economics and Political Sciences, London, England, 2003
  • B.A. (Economics and English) University of Michigan-Flint, 2002

My work approaches the body and corporeal experience through both history and anthropology. My research interests include disability studies/history, colonial medicine, the histories of public health (quarantine and vaccination in particular) with more recent interests in the relationships between disability studies/history and animal studies/history through the figure of the guide/service dog. I am also interested in the ways in which we represent disability and difference in popular culture.

My forthcoming book, “Fungible Books” (under contract with the University of Illinois’ Disability Histories series) is an examination of the relationship between disability and colonialism in British India from 1850-1950 and explores these relationships through the following historical figures: the “normal” body, the “lusus naturae” or the “monster” in colonial medicine; the amputee; the “infirm” subject in the imperial censuses; the “defective child” and the disabled/sick sepoy.

I teach courses on disability, history of public health, science and Empire and hope to be able to teach courses in the future on Animals, Science and Society and War, Medicine and the Body. For the History department I also teach History of India and History of South Asia.

I serve on the Board of the Disability History Association and manage their twitter feed: @DisabilityHistr.

Contact Me

Apairna Nair
Department of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine
The University of Oklahoma
601 Elm, Room 625
Norman, OK 73019

Office Tel: 1-405-325-2213

Email: Aparna(dot)nair(at)ou(dot)edu