Professor Timothy Newfield Named Director of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship

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Timothy Newfield

Meet our new Director of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship, Professor Timothy Newfield! Dr. Newfield is a historical epidemiologist, environmental historian, and assistant professor in the Departments of History and Biology at Georgetown. In the medical humanities, he has taught Global History of the Plague and Global Health History. In the spring, he will also be teaching the Senior Capstone Seminar for medical humanities minors!

In our interview with him, Dr. Newfield talks about his experience with the medical humanities and what he’s most excited about as the Director of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship.

Everyone has a different definition, but for me the medical humanities unites the arts, humanities, and the social and natural sciences to assess and reassess medical practice and health — past, present, future. The field is as interdisciplinary as you can get. In fact, I am not sure it is possible to work or study in the medical humanities without being interdisciplinary. My own research and writing operates at the nexus of history, archaeology, and paleogenetics, though I am looking to include medical anthropology, which I have been exploring recently.

Interacting with students coming from a wide range of disciplines and looking to integrate theory, methods and evidence from across campus — I love that.

I will be teaching the capstone regularly (starting this coming Spring semester) and doing my best to help students with their medical humanities projects. I will also be running a few events every academic year.

To grow our community and to bring us together for events often.

As bad of an answer as they may be, I would have liked to have been in Constantinople in Spring 542 when the first plague pandemic arrived. In fact, I would be delighted to take in, but not succumb to, any pre-modern plague.