Stuart McCook | College of Arts

Stuart McCook

Photo of Stuart McCook
Phone number: 
(519) 824-4120 ex. 53213
2002 Mackinnon Extension



PhD (History / History of Science) Princeton University, 1996
MA (History / History of Science) Princeton University, 1992
MS (Science and Technology Studies) Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1990
BA (History and Philosophy of Science) University of Toronto, 1988


    University of Guelph, Professor of History, since 2018
    University of Guelph, Associate Professor of History, 2003-2018
    University of Guelph, Associate Dean (Research & Graduate Studies), College of Arts, 2009-2015
    The College of New Jersey, Associate Professor of History, 2002-2003
    The College of New Jersey, Assistant Professor of History, 1997-2002
    University of Minnesota. NSF Postdoctoral Research Associate in History of Science and Technology, 1996-1997


    Environmental History
    Global History
    History of Science
    Latin American History

    Current Research
    My research focuses on the environmental history of tropical crops and commodities, especially in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I study global tropical crop diseases as a way of exploring interplay between economy and environment in the Global South. My book Coffee is Not Forever: A Global History of the Coffee Rust, will published by Ohio University Press in September. My other research and teaching interests include global history, commodity history, the history of science, technology, and medicine, disease and history, the history of natural disasters, and Latin American history.  - Stuart



    “Prodigality and Sustainability: The Environmental Sciences and the Quest for Development.” In A Living Past: Environmental Histories of Latin America, edited by Claudia Leal, John Soluri, and José Augusto Pádua, 226–45. New York: Berghahn Books, 2018.

    States of Nature book cover

    "Environmental History of Coffee in Latin America"Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History, June 2017.

    “‘Squares of Tropic Summer’: The Wardian Case, Victorian Horticulture, and the Logistics of Global Plant Transfers, 1770-1910.” In Global Scientific Practice in an Age of Revolutions, 1750-1850, edited by Patrick Manning and Daniel Rood, 199–215. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016.

    with John Vandermeer. “The Big Rust and the Red Queen: Long-Term Perspectives on Coffee Rust Research.” Phytopathology, September 3, 2015, PHYTO – 04–15 – 0085 – RVW. doi:10.1094/PHYTO-04-15-0085-RVW.

    “Ephemeral Plantations: The Rise and Fall of Liberian Coffee, 1870-1900.” In Comparing Apples, Oranges, and Cotton: Environmental Histories of the Global Plantation, edited by Frank Uekotter, 85–112. Frankfurt am Main: Campus Verlag, 2014.

    Prodigality and Sustainability: The Natural Sciences and the Environment.” In New Environmental Histories of Latin America and the Caribbean, edited by Claudia Leal, José Augusto Pádua, and John Soluri, 89–94. RCC Perspectives 7. Munich: Rachel Carson Centre.

    “Global Currents in National Histories of Science: The ‘Global Turn’ and the History of Science in Latin America.” Isis 104.4 (2013): 773–76. 

    “The Ecology of Taste: Robusta Coffee and the Limits of the Specialty Revolution.” In Coffee: a Comprehensive Guide to the Bean, the Beverage, and the Industry, edited by Robert W Thurston, Jonathan Morris, and Shawn Steiman, 248–261. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2013.

    “The Neo-Columbian Exchange: The Second Conquest of the Greater Caribbean, 1720-1930.” Latin American Research Review 46, (2011): 11–31.

    “La roya del café en Costa Rica: epidemias, innovación, y ambiente, 1980-1995. [Coffee rust in Central America: Epidemics, Innovation, and Envrionment, 1980-1995].” Revista de Historia [Costa Rica], no. 59-60 (2009): 99-117.

    “Nature, God, and Nation in Revolutionary Venezuela: The Holy Thursday Earthquake of 1812.” In Aftershocks: Earthquakes and Popular Politics in Latin America, edited by Jürgen Buchenau and Lyman Johnson, 43-69. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2009.

    “'The World Was My Garden': Tropical Botany and Cosmopolitanism in American Science, 1898-1935.” In Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State, edited by Alfred McCoy and Francisco Scarano, 499-507. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2009.

    Chronicle of a plague foretold: crop epidemics and the environmental history of coffee in the Americas.” Varia Historia 24, no. 39 (2008): 87-111.

    “Global rust belt: Hemileia vastatrix and the ecological integration of world coffee production since 1850.” Journal of Global History 1, no. 02 (2006): 177-195.

    “Plantas, petroleo, y progreso: las ciencias agrícolas y las ideologías de desarrollo en la época de Juan Vicente Gómez, 1908-1935,” in Estudios Interdisciplinarios de América Latina y el Caribe 14:1 (January-June 2003): 67-88.

    States of Nature: Science, Agriculture, and Environment in the Spanish Caribbean, 1760-1940 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2002).

    “Las epidemias liberales: agricultura, ambiente, y globalización en Ecuador, 1790-1930” in Estudios sobre historia y ambiente en América Latina, Vol. 2, Norteamérica, Sudamérica, y el Pacífico, edited by Bernardo García Martínez and María del Rosario Prieto (México, El Colegio de México/Instituto Panamericano de Geografía e Historia, 2002), 223-246.

    “‘Giving Plants a Civil Status’: Scientific Representations of Nature and Nation in Costa Rica and Venezuela, 1885-1935,” The Americas: A Quarterly Review of Inter-American Cultural History 58 (April 2002): 513-536.

    “Promoting the ‘Practical’: Science and Agricultural Modernization in Puerto Rico and Colombia, 1920-1940,” Agricultural History 75 (Winter 2001): 52-82.

    with Angel L. Viloria, Franco Urbani, and Bernardo Urbani, “De Lausanne aux forêts vénézueliennes. Mission géologique de François de Loys (1892-1935) et les origines d’une controverse anthropologique," Bulletin de la Société Vaudoise des Sciences Naturelles 86 (September 1999): 157-174.

    “Creole Science: Botanical Surveys of Costa Rica, 1880-1940,” Endeavour 23 (1999): 118-120.

    “‘It may be truth, but it is not evidence:’ Paul du Chaillu and the Legitimation of Evidence in the Field Sciences,” Osiris 11 (1996): 177-197; reprinted in Science, Race, and Ethnicity: Readings from Isis and Osiris, edited by John P. Jackson, Jr. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002), 341-361.

    “Cosechas inciertas: la investigación agrícola bajo la dictadura de Juan Vicente Gómez (1908-1935),” in Ciencia, Tecnología y Sociedad en América Latina ed. Hebe Vessuri (Caracas: ALAS/Nueva Sociedad, 1994), 129-140.