Whitney Barlow Robles

Research Associate
Academic Appointments

Postdoctoral Fellow, Society of Fellows

Whitney Barlow Robles is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Dartmouth Society of Fellows. Her research and teaching span early American history, environmental studies, the history of science, and material culture and museum studies. Her current book project, Curious Species: How Animals Made Natural History, positions animals like corals, rattlesnakes, fish, and raccoons as central protagonists of the history of eighteenth-century science. The project uses historical methods, ethnography, material culture analysis, and scientific research to examine how animals facilitated and foreclosed the production of knowledge. Portions of this work have received Harvard University's Bowdoin Prize in the Natural Sciences, the Hakluyt Society Essay Prize, and Best Historical Reenactment by Bunk in their Best American History Reads of 2018. The project has been funded by the American Historical Association, the Smithsonian Institution, and the British Library, among other institutions. Her most recent publications have appeared in the William and Mary QuarterlyThe New England Quarterly, the book The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard's Teaching Cabinet, 1766–1820, and Commonplace: The Journal of Early American Life.

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Dr. Robles is also an affiliate researcher with the Stanford-based Natural Things | Ad Fontes Naturae research group. Through this digital humanities initiative for the study of early modern things and their environments, she is tracing the interlinked histories of food and natural science using digital methods and material food artifacts like squid and breadfruit

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Carson Hall 407
HB 6107
Department(s): 
History
Education: 
B.A. Yale University
A.M. Harvard University
Ph. D. Harvard University