History Department
History Department

Mark Sheaves

MA History, University of Texas at Austin

Mark Sheaves



Science and Medicine in the British Empire; Public History; The Early Modern Atlantic World; Spanish Empire; Global History.


My primary interests are in the history of science and medicine in the British Empire, with a particular focus on independent medical companies operating across the British Empire in the late nineteenth century. I am interested in the ways that these companies commodified cultural identities, specifically American Indian identities, in order to sell their products. More broadly I explore the relationship between medicine, cultural identity, and working class politics in this period. 

During my graduate studies at UT Austin I have also taken classes on Early Modern Atlantic World history, with a specific focus on the connections between Iberian and Anglo Atlantic worlds during the sixteenth and early seventeenth century. With this focus, I conducted research in various archives in Spain and the UK and wrote several research papers exploring the ways merchants facilitated the flow of ideas, peoples, and products, linking intellectual communities, venture capitalists, and the governing elites in Iberian and English locales during this key period of both Spanish and English empire building.

Prior to starting my doctoral studies at UT Austin, I completed a BA History with first class honors from the University of Exeter (UK), and a Masters degree in Modern Latin American history from the University of London. My BA honors thesis, titled ‘Transatlantic ‘Native American’ Quack Doctors: Sequah Ltd. and the professionalization of medicine in late nineteenth century Britain’ explored a transnational quack doctor who had great success in the late nineteenth century peddling ‘Native American’ cures in Britain, the Netherlands and Spain. This case study led me to explore broader themes related to truth and ownership of medical and scientific knowledge.  Focusing on the history of ideas in the Americas, I wrote my Masters dissertation on the reception of classical antiquity in early nineteenth century debates about national identity. My thesis questioned the notion that Latin American ideas in the early nineteenth century were imitative or derivative of European ideas, through a case study of early nineteenth century Argentine nation builders. Before transferring to UT Austin, I completed graduate studies in History at University College London, researching the reception of classical antiquity in ideas about national identity of four generations in Argentina and Mexico in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and exploring the connections and flow of ideas across Latin America, in the context of emerging ideas of a shared Latin American culture and history. 

In small pockets of spare time, I am also a creative writer. I am working on a novel exploring immigration and identity in locales in Texas, England, Spain, and Mexico and a short story collection focused on transnational communities of Andalusia over three centuries of history.  

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