Traveling Oculists in Israel/Palestine

with Anat Mooreville

hosted by Chris Gratien and Seçil Yılmaz

This episode is part of an ongoing series entitled History of Science, Ottoman or Otherwise.
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Medicine is not merely a practice that takes place in hospitals, clinics, and laboratories. It also involves the movement and operation of medical practitioners in different social spaces. In this episode, Anat Mooreville discusses traveling doctors in Israel/Palestine and their role not only in combating trachoma (a severe eye disease that causes blindness) but also as ethnographers and go-betweens within the framework of a Zionist national project.

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Anat Mooreville is a doctoral candidate at UCLA studying the history of science and medicine in Israel/Palestine
Chris Gratien is a doctoral candidate at Georgetown University studying the social and environmental history of the Ottoman Empire and the modern Middle East (see
Seçil Yılmaz is a doctoral candidate at the Graduate Center-CUNY studying the history of disease, medicine, and sex in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey (see

Episode No. 138
Release Date: 28 December 2013
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Editing and Production by Chris Gratien
Bibliography courtesy of Anat Mooreville

This episode originally appeared under the title of "Wandering Doctors in Israel/Palestine."

Citation: "Wandering Doctors in Israel/Palestine," Anat Mooreville, Chris Gratien, and Seçil Yılmaz, Ottoman History Podcast, No. 138 (28 December 2013)


Davidovitch, Nadav, and Shifra Shvarts. 2000. “Health and Hegemony: Preventive Medicine, Immigrants and the Israeli Melting Pot.” Israel Studies. 9, no. 2: 150-179.

Davidovitch, Nadav, and Zalman Greenberg. 2007. “Public Health, Culture, and Colonial Medicine: Smallpox and Variolation in Palestine During the British Mandate.” Public Health Reports. 122, no. 3: 398-406.

Feigenbaum, Arieh. Fifty Years of Ophthalmology in Israel [Hebrew]. Tel-Aviv: ha-Refuʼah, 1946. 

Hirsch, Dafna. 2009. “‘We Are Here to Bring the West, Not Only to Ourselves’: Zionist Occidentalism and the Discourse of Hygiene in Mandate Palestine.” International Journal of Middle East Studies. 41: 577-594.

Sufian, Sandra M. Healing the Land and the Nation: Malaria and the Zionist Project in Palestine, 1920-1947. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.

Taylor, Hugh R. Trachoma: A Blinding Scourge from the Bronze Age to the Twenty-First Century. East Melbourne, Vic: Centre for Eye Research Australia, 2008.