Carolyn Roberts

Carolyn Roberts's picture
Postgraduate Associate in History and History of Medicine, and African American Studies (Assistant Professor beginning 2018)
Research Areas: 
Medicine and slavery in the Atlantic world; race, medicine, and science; history of medicine in Africa and the African diapsora; health and protest in African American history; non-Western medicine and global health


Carolyn Roberts is an historian of early modern medicine.  Her research and teaching interests broadly concern medicine, race, and slavery in the Atlantic world.   Her current project, To Heal and to Harm: Medicine, Knowledge, and Power in the Atlantic Slave Trade, is the first full-length study of the history of medicine in the British slave trade.  She studies the pharmaceutical and medical labor performed by a largely unknown group of African and British women and men, both enslaved and free.  Their knowledge of pharmacy, surgery, and herbalism was mobilized to sustain the largest coerced oceanic migration in human history.  

Carolyn holds degrees from Harvard University, Andover Newton Theological School, and Dartmouth College.  She is also an award-winning teacher who has been recognized for her commitment to public service.  Carolyn’s research has been supported through numerous fellowships and awards – most recently from the John and Elizabeth Armstrong Fellowship, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, and the Krupp Foundation.