PhD, Columbia University, 2016

MA, American University, 2009

MA, Dartmouth College, 2007

AB, Harvard University, 2004

Research Interests

Professor Johnston is interested in the intersections of race and the environment, as well as the histories of health, medicine, and the body in the Atlantic world.

She is currently finishing a book on race, labor, and climate in Anglo-Atlantic plantation societies.


“Endangered Plantations: Environmental Change and Slavery in the British Caribbean, 1631-1807.” Early American Studies 18, no. 3 (2020): 259-286.

“The Constitution of Empire: Place and Bodily Health in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic.” Atlantic Studies 10, no. 4 (2013): 443-466.

Katherine Johnston

Assistant Professor of History

 Email:  Phone: 608-363-2813   Room 223, Morse-Ingersoll Hall

Kate Johnston studies the history of race, health, the body, and the environment in the Atlantic world. Her book, The Nature of Slavery (forthcoming spring 2022), examines the development of concepts of race in Early American and Caribbean plantation societies. She teaches in the History, Environmental Studies, and Critical Identity Studies programs, as well as in the Health and Healing and Justice and Rights Channels.

Professor Johnston’s classes are designed to inspire students to consider the ways that past legacies influence our present and future. She currently teaches courses on the history of the body; race and the environment; slavery and its legacies; health and medicine; and Native North America, among others.

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  • Kate Johnston
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