Assistant Professor of History
Co-Director, Hagley Graduate Program
Geoff Bil is a historian of science and empire, with specialization in nineteenth- and twentieth-century botany, anthopology, and Indigenous history. Prior to joining the University of Delaware, he held an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at the New York Botanical Garden, and held predoctoral fellowships at the Newberry Library, University of Sussex, and Victoria University of Wellington. He received his PhD in History from the University of British Columbia in 2018.
His first book manuscript, “Indexing the Indigenous: Plants, Peoples and Empire” (under contract, Johns Hopkins University Press), examines the history of imperial engagements with Indigenous knowledges, with emphasis on the varied ways that Indigenous plant names have figured in botany and anthropology. His second book project, “Fields of Empire: Science, Ethnoscience and the Making of the American Century,” examines how Indigenous and vernacular knowledges in the Philippines, Sumatra, and Central America pertained to the emerging rubrics of ethnobotany and ethnoecology. Dr. Bil’s work has appeared in History of Science, British Journal for the History of Science, History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals, History of Anthropology Review, Senses of Cinema, and elsewhere. He teaches undergraduate courses in history of science, history of medicine and disease, history of racism, and British and European history.
Germany, political economy, popular culture, history of reading
“Overpopulation Debates in Latin America during the Cold War ,” in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History (2018)
Eve Buckley is a historian of science, technology, public health and the environment with a regional specialization in Latin America, particularly twentieth-century Brazil. She received her PhD in History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania. Her first book, Technocratsand the Politics of Drought and Development in Twentieth-Century Brazil (University of North Carolina Press, 2017) examines the range of scientific initiatives deployed in an impoverished region of Brazil with the goal of ameliorating recurrent drought. It highlights the persistent hope that technocratic expertise could overcome long-standing social inequities without provoking revolution. Her current project looks at concerns about global resource scarcity (particularly food shortages) in the early Cold War and the consolidation, notably in the United States and Western Europe, of a paradigm that understood those constraints as the result of overpopulation. Drawing on archives in Rome, northeast Brazil, and the United States, she highlights counter narratives to the increasingly dominant overpopulation discourse, with a focus on the writing of Brazilian nutritionist and U.N. FAO officer Dr. Josué de Castro. This work is supported by grants from UD, the Rockefeller Archive Center, Princeton University Libraries, and the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine. This article from the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History is drawn from that work.
Director, Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society, Hagley Library
Roger Horowitz is Director of the Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society at the Hagley Library and Professor of History at the University of Delaware. His book Kosher USA: How Coke became kosher and other tales of modern food (2016) received the National Jewish Book Award in American Jewish Studies, the Dorothy Rosenberg award on the Jewish Diaspora from the American Historical Association and was named an Outstanding Academic Book by Choice magazine. His earlier books include Putting Meat on the American Table: Taste, Technology, Transformation (2006) and “Negro and White, Unite and Fight!” A Social History of Industrial Unionism in Meatpacking, 1930‑1990 (1997). His current research focuses on the impact of Jewish preference for chicken on American foodways and the nation’s political economy. Horowitz also is active in professional organizations, currently serving as Treasurer of the Business History Conference, a trustee of the Jewish Historical Society of Delaware, and a member of the Scholarly Council of the American Jewish Historical Association. At the University of Delaware he teaches the History of Capitalism graduate course, and undergraduate classes on Jewish studies as well as on the use of oral history.
Middle East, history of consumption
History of Technology
Dael A. Norwood
Assistant Professor of History
Liz Covart, “Episode 337: Dael Norwood Early America’s Trade with China,” Ben Franklin’s World, (August 30, 2022)
Dael A. Norwood is a historian of nineteenth-century America specializing in the global dimensions of U.S. politics and economics and the culture of capitalism. He earned his doctorate at Princeton University, and is an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Delaware, where he teaches courses on the history of American capitalism, politics, and foreign relations, as well as on historical research methods and the history of racial inequality in Delaware. In addition to his affiliation with Hagley, he co-chairs the Legacies of Enslavement and Dispossession at UD committee, a research group that is part of the UD Antiracism Initiative.
In early 2022 he published his first book, Trading Freedom: How Trade with China Defined Early America (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2022). He has written articles and essays about the relation of U.S. politics to global capitalism in America, the role commerce played in shaping the Constitution, the historiography of political economy in the early republic, and the history of indentured servitude. His current book project, The Beginnings of the “Businessman,” investigates how “the businessman” became such a potent political and cultural identity in America.
American History, Museum Studies, Material Culture, Environment
American history since 1900, history of technology and science, military history, history of information, and environmental history
Business history, the history of Delaware
Soviet Union, twentieth-century Europe, modernity
Cultural history, capitalism, music and popular culture, business, media, consumer culture, the history of the senses.
Professor Suisman recently published Capitalism and the Senses (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2023), which is co-edited with Regina Lee Blaszczyk. He is at work finishing up his book manuscript, Instrument of War: Music and the Making of American Soldiers, to be published by the University of Chicago Press.
Associate Professor of History
Co-Director, Hagley Graduate Program
Recent News: Profile in Public Books on disability history & deaf futures. Op-ed in Washington Post on the FDA’s decision on Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids & on eugenics in American politics.
Jaipreet Virdi is a historian of medicine, technology, and disability, Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Delaware, and Faculty Affiliate at the Center for Material Culture Studies. Her research concentrates on the way medicine and technology impacts the lived experiences of disabled people, and how disabled people in turn, have historically been central to technological innovations. Her first book, Hearing Happiness: Deafness Cures in History (University of Chicago Press, 2020) is an amalgam of research and memoir that seeks to understand society’s obsession with the quest of a cure. The book received the 2021 Hughes Prize from the British Society for the History of Science and the American Association for the History of Medicine’s 2022 Welch Medal. As a public historian, she has bylines in Washington Post, Slate, The Atlantic, and New Internationalist, among other sites. Her graduate seminar, “Disability Histories” introduces students how to interpret material and visual sources to understand how cultural ideas of health, disability, and ability are embedded in objects. She will be offering a new course in Spring 2024. “Reading and Writing Seminar: History from the Margins.”