Jennifer L. Derr

User Jennifer L. Derr

User Associate Professor; Founding Director, Center for the Middle East and North Africa at UC Santa Cruz

User831-459-3602 (office)


she, her, her, hers, herself

Humanities Division

Associate Professor; Founding Director, Center for the Middle East and North Africa at UC Santa Cruz


Science & Justice Research Center
Environmental Studies Department
Critical Race and Ethnic Studies

Humanities Building 1

Spring quarter 2022: By appointment via zoom (email

Humanities Academic Services


B.S. in Biological Sciences, Stanford University

M.A. in Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University

Ph.D. in History, Stanford University

Colonial and Post-colonial Middle Eastern history; environmental history; history of science; history of medicine; critical geography

Principal Investigator, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar on "Race, Empire, and the Environments of Biomedicine," 2021-2023

National Science Foundation CAREER Award, "History of Science at the Interface of Biomedical and Environmental Concerns," 2019-2024 

Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Department III, Working Group “Art of Judgment,” Visiting Scholar, January 2019 – July 2019 

UCHRI Junior Faculty Manuscript Workshop Award, 2016-2017

National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Stipend Award Winner, 2016

Hellman Fellow, 2015-2016

Social Science Research Council Book Fellowship, 2012

Junior Fellow, Society of Fellows in British Studies, The University of Texas at Austin, 2009-2010


“The Dammed Body: Thinking Historically about Water Security and Public Health.” Dædalus: A Publication of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 150, no. 4 (Fall 2021): 143-158.

“Approaching the History of an Egyptian Biomedicine.” History Compass 19, no. 6 (June 2021).

"Hepatitis C, COVID-19 and the Egyptian Regime’s Approach to Health Care." Middle East Report: Health and the Body Politic" 297 (Winter 2020).

The Lived Nile: Environment, disease, and material colonial economy in Egypt. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2019.

“Labor-time: Ecological bodies and agricultural labor in 19th and early 20th-century Egypt.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 50 no. 2 (May 2018): 195-212.

 “The Dirty Subject of the First World War.” International Journal of Middle East Studies vol. 46 no. 4 (November 2014): 781-783.

 “A Draft of the Colony: Historical Imagination and the Production of Agricultural Geography in British-Occupied Egypt.” In Environmental Imaginaries of the Middle East and North Africa, edited by Edmund Burke III and Diana K. Davis, 136-157. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2011.

 “Regulation of p53 by Hypoxia: Dissociation of Transcriptional Repression and Apoptosis from p53-Dependent Transactivation.” (with Constantinos Koumenis, Rodolfo Alarcon, Ester Hammond, Patrick Sutphin, William Hoffman, Maureen Murphy, Yoichi Taya, Scott W. Lowe, Michael Kastan, and Amato Giaccia) Molecular and Cellular Biology, Vol. 21, No. 4 (February 2001): 1297-1310.