Faculty by Research Specialization

The Department of History at UC Santa Cruz is known for its innovative research and exemplary scholarship. Our faculty work at the cutting edge of their respective fields, covering a wide variety of geographic, temporal, and thematic fields of study. The areas of specialization listed here are by no means an exhaustive list of our scholastic interests. Rather, they highlight the diverse and often overlapping ideas and approaches we explore within our teaching and research.

Benjamin Breen
  • Title
    • Assistant Professor
  • Division Humanities Division
  • Department
    • History Department
  • Phone
    512-804-6165
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Stevenson 279
  • Office Hours Spring, 2018: Friday, 2-3
  • Mail Stop History Department
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise History of Science, Colonialism, Digital Humanities
  • Courses Taught HIS 2A (Spring, 2018); HIS 177A (Spring, 2018)

Research Interests

Early modern world history, particularly the history of the tropics; early modern globalization and the slave trade; Spanish and Portuguese empires; history of drugs and poisons; early modern science, medicine, and technology; magic in a cross-cultural context.

Biography, Education and Training

Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, May 2015.

Honors, Awards and Grants

Society of Fellows Postdoctoral Fellowship, Columbia University 2015-2016
Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Critical Bibliography, 2014-16
Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2014-15
Dissertation Fellow, McNeil Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 2013-14
Fulbright fellowship to Portugal, 2011-2012

Teaching Interests

- Early modern science, medicine, and technology
- History of the Iberian peninsula and of the Spanish and Portuguese empires
- History of drugs and poisons
- Travel writing of the 17th and 18th centuries
- History of magic