Alisha Rankin

Associate Professor of History
Co-Director of Graduate Studies

Tufts University

Alisha Rankin, Associate Professor of History and the Co-Director of Graduate Studies, joined the Tufts history department in January 2008, after spending three years as a Junior Research Fellow at Trinity College, University of Cambridge. She received her Ph.D. in the History of Science from Harvard University in 2005 and B.A. from Wellesley College in History and German Studies in 1996.

Her broad research interests include early modern European history (c. 1450-1700), the history of science and medicine, and women's history. Her first book, Panaceia's Daughters: Noblewomen as Healers in Early Modern Germany (University of Chicago Press, 2013) examines German princesses who became widely known and admired for their medical knowledge in the sixteenth century — and particularly for making medicinal cures. It won the 2014 Gerald Strauss Prize for Reformation History. She also co-edited a collection of essays titled Secrets and Knowledge in Medicine and Science, 1500-1800, which was published by Ashgate Press in 2011. In addition, she is working on a new book project with the working title The Poison Trials: Antidotes, Wonder Drugs, and the Problem of Proof in Early Modern Europe, which looks at the important role poison antidotes played in attempts to evaluate early modern cures. She is involved with the working group "Testing Drugs and Trying Cures in Early Modern Europe" at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, and co-organized (with Elaine Leong) a conference on the topic in June 2014. She and Elaine just published a special journal issue of the Bulletin of the History of Medicine (Summer, 2017) on the topic.

Her courses cover a wide range of research interests. She has developed courses on Renaissance and Reformation Europe; gender and family; the history of science and medicine; and the history of the book. She also teaches a survey course called Science and Technology in World History as part of the IR Core, and is am core faculty in STS, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, IR, and Environmental Studies.