Pablo F. Gómez

Position title: Associate Professor


Phone: (608) 262-3414

Room 1419, Medical Sciences Center

Associate Professor Pablo Gómez


History of Medicine and Science in the Atlantic World; History of Medicine and Science in Latin America; History of Medicine and Science and the African Diaspora; Early modern corporeal epistemologies; Race and medicine.




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


Diego Armus and Pablo F. Gómez, Eds. The Gray Zones of Medicine: Healers and History in Latin America (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2021).

Pablo F. Gómez, The Experiential Caribbean: Creating Knowledge and Healing in the Early Modern Atlantic (University of North Carolina Press, 2017).

Winner of the 2019 William H. Welch Prize for best book in all fields on the History of Medicine

Honorable mention for the 2018 Bolton-Johnson Prize for best book in all fields on Latin American History

Winner of the 2018 Albert J. Raboteau Book Prize for best book in all fields on Africana Religions.

Selected Book Sections

Pablo F. Gómez, “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).

Pablo F. Gómez, “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).

Pablo F. Gómez, “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).

“Afro-Caribbean Healers” section in William Beezley, ed., The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History (Oxford University Press, 2016).

“Researching the history of slavery in Colombia and Brazil through ecclesiastical and notarial archives” section in Maja Kominko, ed., From Dust to Digital: Ten Years of the Endangered Archives Programme (Open Book Publishers, 2015).

“Transatlantic Meanings: African Rituals and Material Culture from the Early-Modern Spanish Caribbean” section in Akinwumi Ogundiran and Paula Saunders, eds., Materialities of Ritual in the Black Atlantic (Indiana University Press, 2014).

Selected Articles

Pablo F. Gómez, “[Un] Muffled Histories: Translating Bodily Practices in the Early Modern Caribbean.” Osiris 37, no. 1 (2022): 233-250.

Pablo F. Gómez, “Caribbean Stones and the Creation of Early Modern Worlds,” History and Technology 34 (2018), 11-20. Special Issue: “Thinking with the World”.

Pablo F. Gómez, “Incommensurable Epistemologies? The Atlantic Geography of Healing in the Early Modern Black Spanish Caribbean,” Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism 44 (2014), 95-107.

Pablo F. Gómez, “The Circulation of Bodily Knowledge in the Seventeenth-century Black Spanish Caribbean,” Social History of Medicine 26:3 (2013), 383-402. Awarded the 2014 Andres Ramos Mattei-Neville Hall Biannual Best Article Prize by the Association of Caribbean Historians and an Honorable Mention for the Vanderwood Prize from the Conference in Latin American History (CLAH), 2014-2015.

Courses taught

MEDHIST 231: Introduction to Social Medicine
MEDHIST 275: Science, Medicine and Race: A History
HISTORY 347: The Caribbean and its Diasporas
MEDHIST 507: Health and Healing I: History of Healing from Antiquity to 1750
MEDHIST 564: Disease, Medicine and Public Health in History of Latin America and Caribbean
MEDHIST 750: Outbreak!: Epidemics, Migration, and the Changing Contours of Global Health
MEDHIST 919: Health, Healing and Science in Africa and the African Diaspora