Molly Warsh

  • Associate Director of the World History Center and Head of Educational Outreach
  • Associate Professor, Department of History


  • World History
  • Early Modern Iberian and British Worlds
  • Early Caribbean
  • Commodities and Consumption
  • Atlantic History
  • Environmental History



  • World History
  • Portuguese Empire
  • Global Piracy
  • Early Americas in Global Perspective
  • Empire and the Environment
  • Environmental History in World Historical Perspective
  • Caribbean History
  • Writing Seminar

Education & Training

  • PhD, Johns Hopkins University

Research Interests

My training in Atlantic history and embrace of world history and environmental humanities shape my scholarship and teaching. My undergraduate course offerings range widely from the Caribbean to the global Iberian empires, the history of piracy, and the history of empires and the environment. I work with graduate students in courses and via independent studies on numerous related fields. My first book American Baroque: Pearls and the Nature of Empire 1492-1700 (Omohundro Institute/UNC Press, 2018) considered the global repercussions of patterns of human and environmental resource management established in the sixteenth-century Spanish Caribbean pearl fisheries. My next project Servants of the Seasons: Itinerant Labor and Environmental Flux in Historical Perspective looks at how work and seasonality have shaped the relationship between governance and people’s experience of subjecthood over time. I am particularly interested in the types of impermanent and semi-permanent arrangements that characterized people’s engagement with the world of work beyond the familiar categories of slavery and freedom and how fluctuations in the natural world shaped these types of agreements.