Upcoming Events

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Politics Below the Asphalt: Black Women and the Struggle for Land in Brazil, a lecture by Keisha-Kahn Perry

September 25, 2017 4:15 PM  – 6:45 PM
Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom

"Politics Below the Asphalt: Black Women and the Struggle for Land in Brazil"

Keisha-Khan Y. Perry is Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University and specializes in the critical study of race, gender, and politics in the Americas with a particular focus on black women's activism, urban geography and questions of citizenship, feminist theories, intellectual history and disciplinary formations, and the interrelationship between scholarship, pedagogy, and political engagement. She has conducted extensive research in Mexico, Jamaica, Belize, Brazil, Argentina, and the United States. Perry's book Black Women against the Land Grab: The Fight for Racial Justice in Brazil is an ethnographic study of black women's activism in Brazilian cities. It examines their participation and leadership in neighborhood associations and how and in what ways their interpretations of racial and gender identities intersect with urban spaces.

Sponsored by: Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, Latin American Studies, Sociology and Anthropology, Africana Studies, and the Mellon-Mays Program.

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Alisha Rankin: "A Kingly Medicine: Poison Trials and Exotic Drugs in Early Modern Europe"

October 4, 2017 4:00 PM  – 6:00 PM
Hubbard Hall, Thomas F. Shannon Room [208]

Poison trials, in which a test subject - animal or human - took poison followed by an antidote, were often used as evidence of a drug's efficacy in sixteenth-century Europe. Many poison trials took place at the courts of Europe, at the behest of a powerful prince, who granted his physicians condemned criminals to use for the purpose of drug testing. Although physicians often portrayed these trials as careful experiments, the vast majority of poison trials tested exotic wonder drugs, particularly bezoar stone. 

In this talk, Alisha Rankin will discuss the influence of the global drug trade on the outcome of poison trials, and compare the relatively modest use of poison trials as evidence in the writings of physicians such as Nicolas Monardes and Garcia da Orta with their more extravagant endorsement by European court physicians.

Rankin is associate professor of history at Tufts University.

Free and open to the public.

Sponsored by the departments of Romance Languages and Literatures and History and the Mellon Enhancing the Humanities Initiative.