Corpus Christi College Oxford

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Katherine Paugh


Biography

I grew up in the suburbs of Washington D.C. and attended Virginia Commonwealth University, where I earned a BA in English literature with a minor concentration in Women’s Studies. As a part of my senior thesis, I delved into the colonial records at the Library of Virginia, and quickly developed an enthusiasm for musty manuscripts. I went on to earn a PhD in History at the University of Pennyslvania under the direction of Daniel Richter, with an additional certification in Gender Studies. I worked as Visiting Assistant Professor at Sarah Lawrence College, and subsequently as Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, before coming to Corpus in 2017 as Fellow and Tutor in North American Women’s History.

Research Interests

My work as an historian has focused primarily on understanding how the political and economic imperatives of empire have shaped cultural visions of race, class, gender, and the body during the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries. In my first monograph, The Politics of Reproduction: Race, Medicine, and Fertility in the Age of Abolition, I was particularly interested in examining historical permutations of medical knowledge and political information, as they related to the imperative to reproduce the plantation labour force in Britain’s colonial slave societies. That book traced the campaign to promote motherhood among enslaved women that emerged alongside the campaign to abolish the Atlantic slave trade. I am currently at work on a second book, which aims to explore the history of venereal disease in early America.

Teaching

I teach American history to 1870, as well as related special options. In Corpus, I teach on historiography and historical methodology. I am open to supervising postgraduate students interested in early American history.

Major Publications

The Politics of Reproduction: Race, Medicine, and Fertility in the Age of Abolition, (Oxford, 2017)

“The Curious Case of Mary Hylas: Wives, Slaves, and the Limits of British Abolitionism”, Slavery & Abolition, Vol. 35, Iss. 4, 2014

“Yaws, Syphilis, Sexuality, and the Circulation of Medical Knowledge in the Atlantic World”, Vol. 88, No. 2, Summer, 2014

“The Politics of Childbearing in the British Caribbean and the Atlantic World, 1776-1838”, Past & Present, Vol. 221, Iss. 1, November, 2013

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