Pablo F. Gómez

Position title: Associate Professor of History and the History of Medicine


Phone: 608.262.3414

Office: 1440 Medical Sciences Center
Office Hours: TBA
Joint Appointment: Medical History & Bioethics

Pabloe F. Gómez


My work focuses on the history of knowledge, science, and the history of health and corporeality in Latin America, the Caribbean, the African diaspora and, more generally, the Iberian and Black Atlantic Worlds. My book, The Experiential Caribbean: Creating Knowledge and Healing in the Early Modern Atlantic (winner of the William H. Welch medal, the Albert J. Raboteau Book Prize, and Honorable Mention-Bolton-Johnson Book Prize), explores belief making and the creation of evidence around the human body and the natural world in the early modern Caribbean. My recently published edited volume, The Gray Zones of Medicine, examines the role of unlicensed health practitioners in the shaping of Latin American history from the colonial time to the present. I am currently working on a history of the quantifiable body and the development of novel ideas about risk, labor, and disease that appeared in Atlantic slave markets during the seventeenth century. I’m also leading a project on a re-framing of global histories of Science Medicine and Technology and am actively involved in projects of digital archival preservation in Colombia, Cuba and Brazil.


Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, History of Medicine, Latin American History, 2010
M.A., Vanderbilt University, History, 2007
Orthopaedic Surgeon, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Surgery, 2002
M.D., CES University, Medellín, Colombia, Medicine, 1994


Selected Publications

  • Pablo F. Gómez, “[Un] Muffled Histories: Translating Bodily Practices in the Early Modern Caribbean.” Osiris 37, no. 1 (2022): 233-250.
  • “Domingo de la Ascensión and the Criollo Healing Culture of the Seventeenth Century Caribbean,” in The Gray Zones of Medicine: Healers and History in Latin America, Diego Armus and Pablo F. Gómez, Eds. (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2021
  • “Pieza de Indias: Slave Trade and the Quantification of Human Bodies,” in Objects of New World Knowledge: A Cabinet of Curiosities, Mark Thurner and Juan Pimentel, Eds. (University of London Press, 2021).
  • “Hospitals and Public Health in the Sixteenth-Century Spanish Caribbean,” in The Spanish Caribbean in the Sixteenth Century, Ida Altman and David Wheat, Eds. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2019).
  • “Caribbean Stones and the Creation of Early Modern Worlds,” History and Technology 34 (2018).
  • “Afro-Caribbean Healers,” in ed. William Beezley, The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016).
  • Jane Landers, Pablo Gómez, José Polo Acuña and Courtney J. Campbell, “Researching the history of slavery in Colombia and Brazil through ecclesiastical and notarial archives,” in ed. Maja Kominko, From Dust to Digital: Ten Years of the Endangered Archives Programme, (Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, 2015), 259-92.
  • “Incommensurable Epistemologies? The Atlantic Geography of Healing in the Early Modern Black Spanish Caribbean,” in Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism (2014) 44: 95-107. Duke University Press.
  • “Transatlantic Meanings: African Rituals and Material Culture from the Early-Modern Spanish Caribbean,” in Materialities of Rituals in the Black Atlantic, eds. Akinwumi Ogundiran and Paula Saunders, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2014).
  • “The Circulation of Bodily Knowledge in the Seventeenth Century Black Spanish Caribbean,” in Social History of Medicine, (2013) 26 (3): 383-402. * Winner of the  2014 Biannual Best Article Prize by the Association of Caribbean Historians, and the Vanderwood Prize-Honorable mention for Best Article, The Conference in Latin American History (CLAH), 2014-2015.

Advisor To

History Courses Taught

  • History 347 – The Caribbean and its Diasporas
  • History 423 – History of the Caribbean
  • MEDHIST 231: Introduction to Social Medicine
  • MEDHIST 275: Science, Medicine and Race: A History.
  • MEDHIST 919: Health, Healing and Science in Africa and the African Diaspora.
  • MEDHIST 507: Health and Healing I: History of Healing from Antiquity to 1750.
  • MEDHIST 564: Disease, Medicine and Public Health in the History of Latin America and the Caribbean.