Chatham News

Chatham University to welcome journalist Sonia Shah, author of The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years with free public lecture on Oct. 4

By: Amanda Leff Ritchie, Senior Public Relations Specialist
September 12, 2011

PITTSBURGH (September 12, 2011) … Chatham University will welcome Sonia Shah, author of The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years (Sarah Crichton Books/ Farrar, Straus & Giroux, July 2010), for a free public lecture and signing at 8 p.m. on Oct. 4 in the Eddy Theatre, Shadyside Campus.

Shah, an investigative journalist and author of critically acclaimed and prize-winning books on science, human rights, and international politics, is Chatham’s 2011 All-Campus Author. All first-year students are studying The Fever in preparation for her visit and will have the opportunity to attend a question-and-answer session with her prior to the public lecture. The Feveris based on five years of original reportage in Cameroon, Malawi, Panama, and beyond. Previous All-Campus Authors include Sefi Atta, Naomi Shihab Nye, Esmeralda Santiago, Medbh McGuckian, and Maxine Hong Kingston. Students and faculty across disciplines share in the opportunity to read the year’s book and interact with its author in an intimate campus setting.

For more information, contact William Lenz, Pontious Professor of English and program director at Chatham, at or 412-365-1186.

About Sonia Shah
Shah’s 2006 drug industry exposé, The Body Hunters: Testing New Drugs on the World’s Poorest Patients (New Press), has been hailed by Publishers Weekly as “a tautly argued study…a trenchant exposé…meticulously researched and packed with documentary evidence,” and as “important [and] powerful” by The New England Journal of Medicine. The book, which international bestselling novelist and The Constant Gardener author John Le Carré called “an act of courage,” has enjoyed wide international distribution, including French, Japanese, and Italian editions.

Her 2004 book, Crude: The Story of Oil (Seven Stories), was described as “brilliant” and “beautifully written” by The Guardian and “required reading” by The Nation, and has been widely translated, from Japanese, Greek, and Italian to Bahasa Indonesia. Her 1997 collection, Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire, still in print after more than 10 years, continues to be required reading at colleges and universities across the country.

A former writing fellow of the Nation Institute and the Puffin Foundation, Shah has been featured on current affairs shows around the United States, as well as on the BBC and Australia’s Radio National. A frequent keynote speaker at political conferences, Shah has lectured at universities and colleges across the country, including Columbia’s Earth Institute, MIT, Harvard, Brown, Georgetown and elsewhere. Her writing on human rights, medicine, and politics have appeared in a range of magazines from Playboy,Salon, and Orion to The Progressive and Knight-Ridder. Her television appearances include A&E and the BBC, and she’s consulted on many documentary film projects.

Shah was born in 1969 in New York City to Indian immigrants. Growing up, she shuttled between the northeastern United States where her parents practiced medicine and Mumbai and Bangalore, India, where her extended working-class family lived, developing a life-long interest in inequality between and within societies. She holds a BA in journalism, philosophy, and neuroscience from Oberlin College, and lives with molecular ecologist Mark Bulmer and their two sons Zakir and Kush.

About Chatham University
Chatham University prepares students from around the world to help develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham University is also ranked in the top five percent of graduate-intensive institutions nationally and experienced the fastest-growing enrollment in the Pittsburgh region over the past decade. Founded in 1869, Chatham University includes the Shadyside Campus, with the historic 39-acre Woodland Road arboretum and Chatham Eastside facility; and the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus north of Pittsburgh. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit .