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Between ‘Deadly Doses’ & ‘Miraculous Cures’: Reassessing Poisons and Antidotes in the Atlantic World

Thursday Lecture Series

dateSeptember 15, 2016 timeThursday, 12:15pm–2:15pm EDT location The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room, Columbia University
  • Audience open exclusively to Columbia faculty, students, and invited guests
  • All others interested in attending, please email SOF/Heyman at [email protected].
Medieval-style drawing of various animals including a unicorn

This talk examines the role of poisons and antidotes in slave societies throughout the Atlantic world. It will compare accounts of poisons, curses, and remedies used by Africans and indigenous Americans in regions including Virginia, Angola, and Guiana, questioning how European fears of tropical poisoning shaped colonization and the construction of natural knowledge in the seventeenth and eighteenth century Atlantic basin. The goal is to better integrate the history of poisons and antidotes within both the history of slavery and within the history of the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment.