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

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

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