Matthew Crawford

Matthew Crawford

Department of History
Associate Professor
Contact Information


  • HIST 11050: Ancient and Medieval World History 
  • HIST 31543: The Scientific Revolution
  • HIST 31550: Medicine in the Modern World Since 1500
  • HIST 31031: The Reformation
  • HIST 31141: Early Latin America

My research focuses on the early modern Iberian Atlantic world with a focus on the history of knowledge and belief. I am especially interested in the ways in which knowledge and belief have become sites for negotiating power between the state and its subjects as well as between members of different social and ethnic groups in early modern Latin America. My first book, The Andean Wonder Drug: Cinchona Bark and Imperial Science in the Spanish Atlantic, 1630-1800, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2016 and received an Honorable Mention for the 2017 Murdo J. MacLeod Book Prize from the Southern Historical Association. In 2019, I was co-editor, with Joseph Gabriel, of a collection of essays, Drugs on the Page: Pharmacopoeias and Healing Knowledge in the Early Modern Atlantic World, also published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Currently, I am working on a project exploring the history of a mining in late colonial Peru and another project on the history of heresy and tolerance in the Atlantic World. My research has been supported by fellowships from the William J. Fulbright Program, the John Carter Brown Library, the Science History Institute, the Lloyd Library and the Center for the History of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

  • Barbara S. Mosbacher Fellowship, John Carter Brown Library (2012)
  • Herdegen Fellowship, Chemical Heritage Foundation (2011)
  • Summer Research Fellowship, Kent State University (2010)
  • J. William Fulbright Fellowship, Madrid, Spain (2005-2006)
  • Short-Term Fellowship, Science History Institute (2018)
  • Francis A. Countway Fellowship, Center for the History of Medicine, Harvard Medical School (2016)


Ph.D., University of California, San Diego (2009), M.A., University of California, San Diego (2005), B.A., Tufts University (2000)


History of Science and Medicine, Iberian Atlantic World, Early Modern Europe


  • Crawford, Matthew James. "The Extirpation of Idolatry and the Secularization of Nature: Jesuits Missionaries and Indigenous Healing Knowledge in Early Modern Peru (1590-1710)." In: Medicine and Religion in the Trans-Atlantic World. Ed. by Kathleen Miller
  • Crawford, Matthew James, Luca Molà, and Rebecca Zorach. "Transforming Substances." In Nova Reperta: Invention in the Renaissance, pp. 163-169. Edited by Lia Markey. Chicago: Northwestern University Press, 2020.
  • Crawford, Matthew James. “What Would Galileo Think of Ted Cruz? Reflections on Epistemic Crisis and Early Modern Scholarship.” Sixteenth Century Journal L, no. 1 (2019): 238-243.
  • Crawford, Matthew James and Joseph M. Gabriel, eds. Drugs on the Page: Pharmacopoeias and Healing Knowledge in the Early Modern Atlantic World. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019.
  • Crawford, Matthew James. “A Cure for Empire? An Andean Wonder Drug and the Politics of Knowledge in the Eighteenth-Century Spanish Empire.” The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 59 (2018): 217-236.
  • Crawford, Matthew James. The Andean Wonder Drug: Cinchona Bark and Imperial Science in the Spanish Atlantic, 1630-1800. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016.
  • Aranda, Marcelo et. al. “The History of Atlantic Science: Collective Reflections on the 2009 Harvard Seminar on Atlantic History.” Edited by Matthew James Crawford and Kelly Wisecup. Atlantic Studies 7, no. 4 (2010): 493-509.
  • Crawford, Matthew James. "A 'Reasoned Proposal' against 'Vain Science:' Creole Negotiations of an Atlantic Medicament in the Audiencia of Quito (1776-1792)." Atlantic Studies 7, no. 4 (2010): 397-419.
  • Crawford, Matthew James. “Para Desterrar las Dudas y Adulteraciones:Scientific Expertise and the Attempts to Make a Better Bark for the Royal Monopoly of Quina (1751-1790),” Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies 8, no. 2 (2007): 193-212.