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/ Department of History

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Noémi Tousignant


Chercheuse invitée

Faculté des arts et des sciences - Département d'histoire


I am a historian of science and public health in late-colonial and postcolonial Africa. Drawing on novel combinations of archival, material, oral, and ethnographic sources, my work focuses mainly on Senegal.


Areas of Expertise

Themes that animate my recent work include:

  • Scientific (in)capacity in Africa as a lived social and material reality, and in relation to global health inequalities
  • The afterlives of scientific materiality and labour in settings of economic uncertainty
  • Civic subjectivities – pertaining to duty, public service and entitlement – in relation to scientific expertise in colonial and postcolonial Africa.
  • The role of science (and its absence) in the unprotection – that is, the active production or preservation of gaps in protection – of health and, more broadly, of livelihoods and environments, particularly from toxic exposures.

Responsabilities and outreach Expand all Collapse all

Activités au sein d’organismes ou d’entités de l’institution

Publications Expand all Collapse all

Publications principales

En cours de parution:

N. Tousignant. Edges of Exposure: Toxicology and the Problem of Capacity in Postcolonial Senegal. Duke University Press. 

Publications récentes:

P.W. Geissler et N. Tousignant. Capacity as History and Horizon: Infrastructure, Autonomy and Future in African Health Science and Care. Canadian Journal of African Studies/Revue canadienne des études africaines 50 n.3 (2016) :349-359. 

P. Wenzel Geissler, G. Lachenal, J. Manton, et N. Tousignant, eds. Traces of the Future: An Archaeology of Medical Science in Twenty First Century Africa. Bristol, Intellect Publishers, 2016. 

L. Monnais et N. Tousignant. The Values of Versatility: Pharmacists, Plants, and Place in the French (Post)Colonial World. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 58, 2 (April 2016): 432-462.

N. Tousignant, Un devoir citoyen?" La qualité du médicament entre privé, public et global au Sénégal. Johanne Collin and Pierre-Marie David, eds. Vers une pharmaceuticalisation de la société? Le médicament comme objet social. (Presses de l’Université du Québec, 2016): 127-147.

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