Benjamin Breen

Assistant Professor in the Department of History

University of California Santa Cruz

Benjamin Breen is an assistant professor of history at UC Santa Cruz. He is interested in the history of science, technology, and globalization, and his research documents connections between European and non-European societies in the early modern era (c. 1500-1800 CE), with a focus on the Portuguese and British empires.

He is currently finishing a book tentatively entitled The Invention of Drugs and is researching a second one about the blurred boundary between the concepts of technology and magic during the Enlightenment. He has published peer-reviewed journal articles on an eighteenth-century impostor and the role of animals in the colonial North American interior, and co-authored historiographic essays on Atlantic history and drugs and modernity.

He also enjoys writing for wider audiences and have contributed to The Paris Review Daily, The Atlantic, Slate, Aeon, The Pacific Standard, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Public Domain Review. He maintains Res Obscura, a blog about early modern history, and co-founded The Appendix, a journal of experimental and narrative history.