A New World of Medicines: Amerindian Pharmacopoeias During the Spanish Colonization

Samir Boumediene

Friday, May 12, 2017 - 11:00am

New York Academy of Medicine (New York, NY)

Humanities Institute, New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Blvd.
Bronx, New York, 10458-5126
In this talk, Samir Boumediene will present a book based on his PhD dissertation published in France a few months ago. Entitled La Colonisation du Savoir, it tells the story of New World medicinal plants from 1492 until the presages of Haitian revolution in 1791. Examining botanical expedition, drug trade, religious missions and everyday life practices, Boumediene’s book shows how Europeans appropriate both American materials and indigenous knowledge during that period. His research also demonstrates how Europeans rejected some medicinal plants and, even more, how Indians or slaves protected their knowledge through secrecy, frauds, or poisoning. The various stories will be presented through the commentary of four images. The first image will help to set the stage by explaining the problem of science and colonization; the three others will focus on a specific aspect: the understanding of novelty, the control of distance, and medicinal plants as a tool of resistance.
This event is sponsored by the NYGB Humanities Institute-LuEsther T. Mertz Library and The New York Academy of Medicine Library.