Mariola Espinosa PhD

Associate Professor (Adjunct) in the History of Medicine


Research Summary

Mariola Espinosa’s primary research interest is the role of disease and public health in the history of Latin America and the Caribbean. Specifically, she concentrates on how diseases and responses to them shape relations of power between the peoples of the region and other actors in the international system. Her book, Epidemic Invasions: Yellow Fever and the Limits of Cuban Independence, 1878-1930, focuses on the many ways that endemic yellow fever in Havana influenced Cubans' relationships with the United States during the latter decades of the nineteenth century and early decades of the twentieth. She is currently working on new research that broadens the study of the effects of disease on empire to other Caribbean contexts.


Selected Publications

  • Epidemic Invasions: Yellow Fever and the Limits of Cuban Independence, 1878-1930, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009. Project awarded the 2007 Jack D. Pressman-Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Development Award by the American Association for the History of Medicine.
  • “A Fever For Empire: U.S. Disease Eradication in Cuba As Colonial Public Health,” in Alfred W. McCoy and Francisco Scarano, ed., Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern U.S. State, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2009.
  • “The Invincible Generals: Disease and the Fight for Empire in Cuba, 1868 to 1898,” in Poonam Bala, ed., Biomedicine as a Contested Site: Some Revelations in Imperial Context, Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield (Lexington Books), 2009.
  • “The Threat from Havana: Southern Public Health, Yellow Fever, and U.S. Intervention in the Cuban Struggle for Independence, 1878-1898” Journal of Southern History 72:3 (2006); 541-568
  • Review of Jungle Laboratories: Mexican Peasants, National Projects, and the Making of the Pill, by Gabriela Soto Laveaga, Enterprise and Society, 12, no. 3 (2011), 670-672.
  • Review of Launching Global Health: The Caribbean Odyssey of the Rockefeller Foundation, by Steven Palmer, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 85, no. 2 (Summer 2011), 310-311.
  • Does the Imperial Power Negotiate? A Review of Dennis Merrill’s Negotiating Paradise: U.S. Tourism and Empire in the Twentieth Century Latin America, Passport: The Newsletter of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, 41, no. 3 (January 2011), 12-13.
  • Review of Mosquito Empires: Ecology and War in the Greater Caribbean, 1620-1914, by J. R. McNeill, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 41, no. 3 (Winter 2011), 483-484.

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