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Benjamin Breen

Associate Professor, Department of History, University of California at Santa Cruz

Fellow, Society of Fellows, SOF/Heyman, Columbia University (2015–2017)

Headshot of Benjamin Breen

Benjamin Breen is an associate professor of history at UC Santa Cruz working on the history of drugs and the long-term impacts of technological change and globalization. His book The Age of Intoxication (University of Pennsylvania Press, forthcoming in November 2019) explores how drug users and sellers in the British and Portuguese empires helped to shape science, imperialism, and global trade.

Trained as an historian of the early modern Atlantic world, he is now working on two book projects (one on drug science in the Cold War, another on technology and magic) that both run into the twentieth century.

Page proofs of academic articles and book chapters can be found here. Links to journalism and other writing are available here. Ben writes Res Obscura, a blog about early modern history, and was a co-founder of The Appendix. He’s on Twitter at @ResObscura.