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Joseph Clark
Assistant Professor

I am a social and cultural historian of the early modern Atlantic world, with ranging thematic interests in African diaspora, contraband trade, and environment and climate. Through these last two areas and in my teaching, I am slowly educating myself in the history of science and technology as well.

My current book project is Witchcraft and Contraband in the Early Modern Caribbean, which attempts to merge my many thematic interests via an examination of the intersections of folk healing, spiritual practice, and informal trade in the Caribbean (ca. 1600-1640). I am especially interested in how Caribbean people mediated and exploited the natural world and how they adapted the Caribbean's environmental and climatological phenomena into their diverse worldviews and cosmologies.

My first book, Veracruz and the Caribbean in the Seventeenth Century, examined the Mexican port city of Veracruz. The book elaborate's Veracruz's material relationships with the Caribbean Islands, demonstrating how exchanges of environment, goods, and people laid the groundwork for similar social and cultural institutions that, in turn, defined local concepts of race, caste, and ethnicity that differed significantly from those in use elsewhere in Mexico. It appeared with Cambridge University Press in 2023.

I teach courses on Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Atlantic World from the colonial period to the present. I also teach thematic and global courses on the histories of environment, empire, disaster, and race.​​​

Contact Information
1757 Patterson Office Tower
(859) 257-1859
BA, History, Boston University, 2010
MA, History, Johns Hopkins University, 2012
PhD, History, Johns Hopkins University, 2016
Research Interests
  • Early Modern Atlantic World
  • Slavery and African Diaspora
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Environmental History
  • History
  • Social Theory
  • African American and Africana Studies
  • Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies
  • Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies