Rana A. Hogarth

 Rana Hogarth

Contact Information

419A Gregory Hall
810 S. Wright St.
M/C 466
Urbana, IL 61801
Assistant Professor


My research engages histories of medicine, the Atlantic World, slavery, colonialism, and the African Diaspora. I am currently at work on my first book, which examines how white physicians acquired and deployed knowledge about blackness in medical discourses that circulated in the Atlantic World. It focuses on how white physicians“medicalized” blackness— a term I use to describe the process by which these physicians defined blackness as a physiological characteristic and surrogate marker of racial difference that contributed to the corporeal standards to which black bodies had to conform.

My book brings the reification of blackness within medical discourses into sharper relief. It shows how, across time and region, whites deployed medical knowledge about blackness to improve plantation labor efficiency, safeguard colonial and civic interests, and enhance overall control over black bodies during the era of slavery.

Research Interests

  • Atlantic World History, History of Medicine, Slavery, Race


  • Ph.D., Yale University, 2012


  • HIST 389: Race and Revolutions
  • HIST 275: African American History to 1877
  • HIST 570: Slavery and Society
  • HIST 483/AFRO 466: Race, Science, and Medicine
  • HIST 475: Formation of US Public Health
  • HIST 367: History of Western Medicine
  • HIST 200: The Atlantic World: Slavery, Disease and Society

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

The Strange Case of Hannah West: Skin Colour and the Search for Racial Difference Social History of Medicine 2016.


Hogarth, Rana A Medicalizing Blackness Making Racial Difference in the Atlantic World, 1780-1840 Chapel Hill University of North Carolina Press 2017. website.

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