Zachary Dorner

Zachary Dorner

Patrick Henry Postdoctoral Fellow

Gilman 330D
Monday, 2-4 p.m.; and by appointment

I write about exchange and power in the long eighteenth century, particularly through the lens of medicine and science. My work pays attention to the interplay between people’s expectations and experiences to examine how material forces influenced the ways people understood themselves, their neighbors, and the world around them.

My forthcoming book, Merchants of Medicines: The Commerce and Coercion of Health in Britain's Long Eighteenth Century, addresses medicine's codependence on plantation agriculture, long-distance trade, financial markets, and colonial warfare. From the late seventeenth century, medicines were produced, distributed, and consumed in new ways to help confront challenges of distance, labor, and authority in colonial spaces. For some, these products offered the prospect of power and wealth, but for others they were part of the mechanisms of enslavement that prompted reconsiderations of the bodies and remedies that moved across emergent global networks.

Before coming to Johns Hopkins, I taught courses on American empire, capitalism, commodities, and medicine at Stanford University after receiving my PhD from Brown University. My work has appeared in The William and Mary Quarterly and Journal of British Studies. Ongoing projects include an article about the embodied histories of medicines and monies, as well as a book investigating settlement projects in the age of abolition.

"Concerning Medicine, Money, and (Early) Modernity" [in preparation]

“From Chelsea to Savannah: Medicines and Mercantilism in the Atlantic World,” Journal of British Studies 58, no. 1 (Jan. 2019): 28-57.

“‘No one here knows half so much of this matter as yourself’: The Deployment of Expertise in Silvester Gardiner’s Surgical, Druggist, and Land Speculation Networks, 1734–83,” The William and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser., 72, no. 2 (2015): 287-322.

Merchants of Medicines: The Commerce and Coercion of Health in Britain’s Long Eighteenth Century [forthcoming 2020, The University of Chicago Press]