KC O'Hara

KC O’Hara UPenn

Ph.D. Student

As a Ph.D. student, KC’s research at the University of Pennsylvania focuses on human-animal relationships and agrarian societies throughout the early modern Atlantic World with a specific focus on colonial Latin America. Prior to Penn, KC graduated from Yale in 2020 with a Master's in History where he focused on unearthing the roles of 18th-century Spanish widows in the production of international wool products, the power of cattle in the construction of colonial Kingston, Jamaica, as well as the connections between Cuba and the United States through the trade of pork and lard at the beginning of the 19th century. In 2019, KC graduated with honors in History and Environmental Studies from Wesleyan University where he completed a senior thesis centering the interspecies interactions between humans and pigs throughout the Spanish colonization of the New World. While at Penn, KC hopes to further explore the intricately bound histories of people and animals across colonial Latin America and further center the status of the non-human in the discipline of history.

KC served as the co-president of Clio, the history department’s graduate student organization, in the 2021-2022 academic year.

He currently serves alongside VanJessica Gladney as the Social Chair of the History Department for the 2022-2023 academic year.


M.A., History, Yale University, 2020

B.A., History and Environmental Studies, Wesleyan University, 2019

Research Interests

Human-Animal Relationships

Animal History

Environmental History

Iberian Atlantic

Early Modern Atlantic World

Colonial Latin America

Agrarian Societies

History of Science and Medicine

Selected Publications

O'Hara, K.C. (2019). Porcine Empires: An Environmental History of Pigs in the Spanish Colonization of the New World, 1493-1800. Wesleyan University Digital Collections, Honors Theses. https://digitalcollections.wesleyan.edu/object/ir-21