Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of History, Hamilton College
PhD'20 (South Asian history) University of Chicago

Research Interests

South Asian History, early modern & modern; History of Medicine and Science; Islam in South Asia; History and Sociology of the Body; Colonial and Post-colonial History; Global History


Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of History, Hamilton College, 2022-2023
Visiting Assistant Professor, Asian Studies Program, Hamilton College, 2021- 2023
Visiting Assistant Professor, History & the Humanities, Reed College, 2020 - 2021


PhD in History, University of Chicago, August 2020
MA, South Asian History, University of Chicago
MSc, Social Anthropology, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford
BSc Honors, Biological Psychology, McMaster University, Canada


The Madrasa Tibbiya and the Reform of Avicennian Medicine in Colonial India, c.1889–1930


Sabrina Datoo’s research on Avicennian medicine in colonial India draws on her training in the natural sciences, anthropology, and the history of Islam in South Asia. Her dissertation project is a cultural history, focused on Madrasa Tibbiya in colonial Delhi, established 1889, an institution that proposed an experiment in epistemic pluralism, incorporating Ayurvedic, biomedical, and Avicennian traditions. Her work examines how practitioners of Avicennian medicine situated their reformist educational efforts within global circulations of scientific thought as well as within the local aesthetic and ethical commitments of the north Indian gentry. Datoo’s research has been supported by research fellowships from the American Philosophical Society and the American Institute of Indian Studies. She won the opportunity to participate in the 2018 Association of Asian Studies–Social Science Research Council Dissertation Workshop. Her work has also been supported by grants from various research centers at the University of Chicago, including the Nicholson Center for British Studies, the Center for International Social Science Research, and the Committee on Southern Asian Studies.

In 2018, Datoo translated the Urdu language testimonies of Indian medical practitioners in the Usman Report, a policy document of significant interest to historians of medicine in colonial India. Dagmar Wujastyk, the project director, commissioned the 35,000-word translation, with funding from the University of Vienna. Datoo’s translation is available with translations of the other vernacular testimonies in the Dutch periodical, eJournal of Indian Medicine.

List of Publications

Peer-Reviewed Journals

2020 “Advertising Medical Technologies in Urdu Print c.1930: Prosthesis and Possibility” South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 43, no. 6, (2020): 1143-1162.

2020 “Imagining Indian Medicine: Epistemic Virtues and Dissonant Temporalities in the Usman Report, 1923,” Asian Medicine, 15, no.1, (2020): 83-106.

2022 “Usman Report: Translation of Urdu Testimonies from Outside the Presidency of Madras, pp165-214”. In Dagmar Wujastyk & Christele Barois (Eds.) The Usman Report (1923): Translations of
Regional Submissions
. Barkhuis: Eelde, NL, 2022.

Book Reviews

(forthcoming) Review of Kira Schmidt Stiedenroth, Unani Medicine in the Making: Practices and Representations in 21st Century India. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. (2020) in Asian
Scheduled for Winter 2022/23

2019 “A Sedulous Subversion: Gail Minault and the Muslim Woman”, International Institute of Asian Studies.


Interview by Roanne Kantor for Synapsis: A Health Humanities Journal (Aug. 2018)
—Discusses the importance of Urdu medical books in the British Library, Social Science Blog (Sept. 2014)