Medicine and Healing in the Age of Slavery

An edited volume from Louisiana State University Press

Advance Praise

“Medicine and Healing in the Age of Slavery is at the cutting edge of the history of medicine and slavery. By placing enslaved people at the center of the volume, its contributors persuasively decenter Western biomedical frameworks as the exclusive driving force in investigating the history of medicine and health.”—Jim Downs, author of Sick from Freedom: African-American Illness and Suffering during the Civil War and Reconstruction

“Straddling social, economic, political, and cultural history, the essays in this volume make explicit the complicit work that the early modern state and the medical establishment played in the modeling of ideas about race, labor, and colonialism. By emphasizing the histories of people of African descent, the volume signals a fundamental shift in the field of medical history.”—Pablo F. Gómez, author of The Experiential Caribbean: Creating Knowledge and Healing in the Early Modern Atlantic

“This remarkably rich collection, spanning diverse healing traditions across the Atlantic World, unsettles easy assumptions about the dominance of Western biomedicine. Medicine’s deep entanglement and debt to coloniality and enslavement can no longer be rendered invisible thanks to the erudition of this broad range of interdisciplinary scholars.” —Sasha Turner, author of Contested Bodies: Pregnancy, Childrearing, and Slavery in Jamaica

“Medicine and Healing in the Age of Slavery is an exciting, chronologically expansive, global volume that liberates African diasporic medicine from the paradigm of the dominant Western medical gaze.”—Harriet A. Washington, author of Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present


“Foreword” by Vanessa Northington Gamble

“Introduction: Healing and the History of Medicine in the Atlantic World” by Sean Morey
Smith and Christopher D. E. Willoughby

“Zemis and Zombies: Amerindian Healing Legacies on Hispaniola” by Lauren Derby

“Poisoned Relations: Medical Choices and Poison Accusations within Enslaved Communities” by Chelsea Berry

“Blood and Hair: Barbers, Sangradores, and the West African Corporeal Imagination in Salvador da Bahia, 1793–1843” by Mary E. Hicks

“Examining Antebellum Medicine through Haptic Studies” by Deirdre Cooper Owens

“Unbelievable Suffering: Rethinking Feigned Illness in Slavery and the Slave Trade” by
Elise A. Mitchell

“Medicalizing Manumission: Slavery, Disability, and Medical Testimony in Late Colonial Colombia” by Brandi M. Waters

“A Case Study in Charleston: Impressions of the Early National Slave Hospital” by Rana A. Hogarth

“From Skin to Blood: Interpreting Racial Immunity to Yellow Fever” by Timothy James

“Black Bodies, Medical Science, and the Age of Emancipation” by Leslie A. Schwalm

“Epilogue: Black Atlantic Healing in the Wake” by Sharla M. Fett