Ayah Nuriddin

Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows
Lecturer in the Council of the Humanities and African American Studies
2021-2024 Cohort

Ayah Nuriddin has a Ph.D. in the History of Medicine from Johns Hopkins University. She also holds an M.A. in History and an MLS from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a B.A. in International Relations and History from American University. Her work examines how African Americans navigated questions of racial science, eugenics, and hereditarianism in relation to struggles for racial justice in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She is also interested in how race and scientific racism shaped African American discourses and activism around health inequality.

While at Princeton, Nuriddin will be working on her book manuscript tentatively entitled “Seed and Soil: Black Eugenic Thought in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.” Building from her dissertation, the book manuscript will consider how slavery, emancipation, and empire shape discourses of race, health, and heredity. It examines the complex and often paradoxical ways in which African Americans imagined the utility of racial science and eugenics for challenging scientific racism and advocating for racial equality. It will also trace how the ongoing legacies of racial science continue to shape African American articulations of racial formation and health disparities.

Nuriddin’s research has been supported by the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine (CHSTM) and the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute (AGHI) at Johns Hopkins University. She was an inaugural inductee of the Johns Hopkins University chapter of the Edward Bouchet Graduate Honor Society. Her work has been published in Historical Studies of Natural Science, the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, and the Lancet. She has appeared on the Disability History Association podcast and American History TV on C-Span.

In fall 2021, Nuriddin will be teaching a course entitled “Beyond Tuskegee: Race and Human Subjects Research in US History.”