Marcy Norton

Marcy Norton

Associate Professor of History
Phillips Hall 309
Address: 801 22nd St. NW
Phone: 202-994-3504


Marcy Norton writes on the cultural history of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe and its American colonies. Her award-winning book, Sacred Gifts, Profane Pleasures: A History of Tobacco and Chocolate in the Atlantic World, sheds fresh light on the encounter between the New World and the Old World by explaining how these American Indian goods became European commodities of mass consumption. Professor Norton has held fellowships from the Kluge Center at the Library of Congress and the Davis Center of Princeton University, among others. She is currently researching cultural relativism in the seventeenth century and human-animal relationships from Columbus to Darwin. (Complete C.V.)

On leave, Spring 2014.


Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, 2000.


Sacred Gifts, Profane Pleasures: A History of Tobacco and Chocolate in the Atlantic World. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2008. Winner of the 2009 Book Award by the Association for the Study of Food and Society.

"Imperial Rivalries and Commercial Collaboration: Portuguese and English Merchants and the Formation of an Atlantic Tobacco Trade, 1560-1640," co-authored with Daviken Studnicki-Gizbert. In The Atlantic World and Virginia, 1550-1624, ed. Fredrika Teute, 251-273. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press for the Omohundro Institute, 2007.

"Tasting Empire: Chocolate and the European Internalization of Mesoamerican Aesthetics." The American Historical Review 111 (June 2006): 660-691. Translated in Revista de Estudios Sociales 29 (April 2008): 42-69.

Classes Taught

Hist 1110: European Civilization in Its World Context to 1715
Hist 3150: Spain and its Empire, 1492-1715
Hist 6105: European Intellectual History
Hist 6120: Early Modern European History