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Associate Professor and Chair
BA, MA McGill University
PhD Dalhousie University


Jonathan Roberts is from Lantzville, British Columbia and he arrived at the Mount in 2008. He holds a BA and an MA from McGill University and a PhD from Dalhousie University.

Jonathan specializes in the history of medicine and religion in West Africa, with a particular focus on the history of healing in Ghana. As part of a project funded by the British Library, he is currently archiving witchcraft trial records held at shrines in Accra, Ghana.  He is also interested in the politics of heritage tourism at slave forts in West Africa.

At the Mount, Jonathan teaches courses in African and World history. He has recently taught the following courses: World History, Cultural Encounters in the Modern World, the Early African Past, Modern Africa, and Religions in African History

Select Publications

2016. “Western Medicine in Africa to 1900,” History Compass (forthcoming)

2016. Book Review: Canadian Journal of African History. Carina Ray. Crossing the Color Line: Race, Sex, and the Contested Politics of Colonialism in Ghana. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2015.

2016. “Robert Fidler demolishes his other castle – the one he built in England,” Today (Ghana), July 18 2016, 25.

2015. “Heritage vs. History in the Commemoration of War in Cape Breton Highlands National Park,” David Campbell, Jonathan Roberts, Corey Slumkoski, and Martha Walls. July 7, 2015 (

2015. “‘Mother Canada’ elevates bombastic heritage over subtlety of history,” David Campbell, Jonathan Roberts, Corey Slumkoski, and Martha Walls. Chronicle Herald (Halifax, NS) June 5, 2015.

2014. “Let’s rebrand Ebola as EHF (Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever),” Today (Ghana) October 20, 13.

2014. “Dungeons, castles or resorts? The changing utility and meaning of the slave forts of Ghana” Transitions 114 (2014) 88-107.
- nominated for the Pushcart Prize, November, 2014.

2014. “Brit Fights Ghana Gov’t Over 300-year-old Fort at Dixcove,” published in Today (newspaper, Accra, Ghana). Apr 24th, 2014.
Republished on:

2011. “Medical exchange on the Gold Coast during the Atlantic slave trade of the 17th and 18th centuries,” in Canadian Journal of African Studies 45, no. 3 (2011)

2011. “Memories of Korle Bu: biomedicine, racism, and colonial nostalgia in Accra, Ghana,” in History in Africa 28 (2011): 193-226.

2011. “Ritual interment as a challenge to funerary conventions in Accra, Ghana: the case of agbalegba,” in Funerals in Africa: Explorations of a Social Phenomenon, edited by Michael Jindra & Joel Noret (New York: Berghan): 207-226.

2010. “Korle and the mosquito: Histories and memories of the antimalaria campaign, Accra, 1942-5,” Journal of African History 51, 3: 343-365.