Latin American Studies

Martha Few

Martha Few
Professor of Colonial Latin American History


PhD, University of Arizona
Joint MA, University of Chicago
BA, University of Chicago


I am an historian of colonial Latin America with research interests in the history of medicine and public health, Mesoamerican ethnohistory, gender and sexuality, and human-animal studies. I am author of For All of Humanity: Mesoamerican and Colonial Medicine in Enlightenment Guatemala (2015). This book was awarded Honorable Mention for the 2016 Bandelier/Lavrin Book Prize in Colonial Latin American History. I am co-editor of Centering Animals in Latin American History (with Zeb Tortorici, 2013), and author of Women Who Live Evil Lives: Gender, Religion, and the Politics of Power in Colonial Guatemala (2002). My work has also been published in the academic journals British Journal for the History of ScienceEthnohistoryMesoamérica, and other publications. I have been a Rockefeller Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Newberry Library in Chicago, and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. I have held research fellowships at the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University and the Huntington Library in San Marino.

I am currently writing a history of human relationships with insects in the New World. Additionally, I am working on a critical introduction and English translation of Pedro José de Arrese’s "Physical, Canonical, and Moral Principles . . . On the Baptism of Miscarried Fetuses and Cesarean Operations in Women Who Die Pregnant" (Guatemala, 1786) in collaboration with Zeb Tortorici, Adam Warren, and Nina M. Scott. This book, titled On Cesarean Operations and Fetal Baptism: An Eighteenth-Century Guatemalan Treatise in Historical Perspective, is forthcoming.

Before coming to Penn State University in 2016, I taught at the University of Arizona in Tucson from 2004-2016, and at the University of Miami from 1997-2004.