Wesleyan portrait of Liana  DeMarco

Liana DeMarco

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in African American Studies


MA Yale University
PHD Yale University

Liana DeMarco

Liana DeMarco specializes in the history of medicine, race, labor, and capitalism in the Black Atlantic, the Caribbean, and the United States.  She received her doctorate in 2022 from the Program in the History of Science and Medicine at Yale University. In 2022-2023, she was a postdoctoral researcher for the Yale School of Medicine and Slavery Project.

Dr. DeMarco's current book project, Sick Time: Medicine and Management under Slavery, examines the management of enslaved people’s health and the medicalization of their productivity in nineteenth-century Louisiana and Cuba. She argues that this historical moment was crucial to the making of the relationship between medicine and capitalism that we have today, where health (especially Black people’s health) is often conceived of in terms of productivity, and where workers are often required to secure a doctor’s note to access “sick time." The book also examines enslaved people's medicine in a variety of environments, including cities, plantations, and the forests, swamps, and natural springs where enslaved people went to heal. Flight to these locations reveals how enslaved people developed their own meanings of sick time.

Her other writing can be found in the Journal of Southern History, the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied SciencesSlavery & Abolition, and forthcoming in Labor and Enterprise & Society.

Academic Affiliations

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Tuesdays 10:30-12 and by appointment