Rachael Hill

Photo by Heidi M. López

Department of History

Rachael Hill is a PhD candidate in African History specializing in the social and cultural history of health and medicine in sub-Saharan Africa. She previously earned a Master of Arts in World History from San Francisco State. Her research interests include the social etiology of disease, the history of science in the global south, indigenous African therapeutic practice, and medical pluralism.

Dissertation: Scientists, Healers and Bioprospectors: the politics of therapeutic pluralism in Ethiopia, 1945-1990

Rachael’s dissertation focuses on local efforts to scientifically study, develop and promote traditional medicine in twentieth-century Ethiopia. Through archival work as well as extensive oral interviews with scientists and traditional healers, this project seeks to historicize medicinal plant research as well as the politics of therapeutic pluralism in Ethiopia to understand why traditional medicine became a national priority when it did.