The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
Primo Levi Fellow

Research Topic

Minority Risk: Health Hazards and Bodily Care


Magdalena Janosikova researches the cultures of health, the body, and medicine among Ashkenazi Jews of Europe between the fifteenth and early eighteenth centuries. In their methodological interventions, Janosikova highlights the continual importance of the unscripted, embodied, and situational forms of medical expertise in European medicine. Their current book project, Odd Man Out: Jewish Physicians, Medical Labour and Text in Late Renaissance Europe examines the unstable relationship between practice, text, and the archive. Tracing the emergence of Jewish minority health discourse, the book uncovers the boundaries of scholarly exchange among physicians and the limits of epistemic trust in scholarly communities. Janosikova’s new project investigates the cultural differentiation and othering of the body in early modern Central and Eastern Europe through the prism of health risk and hazard. 

Janosikova received their Ph.D. in history from Queen Mary University of London.

Selected publications

  • With Iris Idelson-Shein, “New Science in Old Yiddish: Jewish Vernacular Science and Translation in Early Modern Europe,” Jewish Quarterly Review 113.3 (2023): 394–423.
  •  “Humoral Regimens of Health in the Jewish Medical Cultures of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries,” in Jews and Health: Tradition, History, and Practice, ed. C. Hezser (Brill, 2023), 159–80.



Exploring health through the intersection between bodies and systems, language and physicality, religion and science, and beyond.