Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 2017

M.P.H., Columbia University, 2007

B.A., Carleton College, 2004


Dr. Cummiskey’s research focuses on the history of international public health and medical research in Africa. She is interested in the interplay between social, political, and scientific forces in the formulation and implementation of public health policy in Africa in the colonial and post-colonial periods. She is currently working on a manuscript dealing with the history of virus research in Uganda from the 1930s to the present, exploring the role of African researchers, subjects, and institutions in the production of global biomedical knowledge. The project repositions Africans and African institutions at the core of the narrative, re-centering ideas about the relationship between global science and Africa. Dr. Cummiskey is also interested in the broader topics of medical and social geography; gender, sexuality, and health in Africa; and the history of disease, health, and healing on the continent.


World History from 1400-Present

Southern African History

Sports in Modern African History

Marriage, Family, and Kinship in Colonial Africa

African Histories of Disease, Health, and Healing


Research and Creative Activity Grant, UTC College of Arts and Sciences, 2018

J.B. Harley Research Fellowship, 2015

Fulbright U.S. Student Grant, 2013

Social Science Research Council (SSRC) International Dissertation Research Fund (IDRF) Grant, 2013

Publication Highlights

Cummiskey, J. 2014. “Drugs, Race and Tuberculosis Control in Baltimore, 1950-1978.” Social History of Medicine 27(4): 728-750.

Conference & Presentation Highlights

“Medical Mapping, Burkitt’s Lymphoma, and the East African Virus Research Institute, 1962-1979.” To be presented on a panel on “Scientific Cultures in Africa” at the Annual Meeting of the History of Science Society, Utrecht, the Netherlands, July 23-27, 2019.

“Of Mice and Men (and Monkeys and Mosquitos): Mapping International Yellow Fever Research in Colonial Uganda.” To be presented on a panel on “Medical Research in the Age of Empires” at the Annual Conference of the World History Association, San Juan, Puerto Rico, June 27-29, 2019.

“Challenging Local/Global Dichotomies in Biomedical Research in Africa: A Historical Perspective from Uganda.” To be presented at a roundtable on “History of Medicine in Africa” at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the History of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio, April 25-28, 2019.

“Medicalizing and De-medicalizing HIV Prevention: The Case of Male Circumcision in Uganda.” Presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Association of the History of Medicine, Nashville, TN.

“Disparity and Decrepitude in the Archive.” On a panel on “Archival Disruptions: Exploring the Temporalities of Medical and Ethnographic Archives in Africa.” Presented at the 2016 University of Minnesota International African Studies Conference, Minneapolis, MN.

“Foreskins, Health, and the Stylish Life in Uganda.” Presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association, San Diego, CA.

“Viral Landscapes: Three Generations of Medical Geography in Uganda.” Presented at the 2015 International Conference of Historical Geographers, London, U.K.


African Studies Association

American Association for the History of Medicine

Society for the Social History of Medicine