Research Programs: Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Period of Performance

7/1/2012 - 6/30/2013

Funding Totals

$50,400.00 (approved)
$50,400.00 (awarded)

Global Medical Exchanges in the Portuguese Colonial World: The Dissemination of Indigenous Remedies and Healing Knowledge, c

FAIN: FB-55385-11

Timothy D. Walker
University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth (North Dartmouth, MA 02747-2356)

Early Portuguese colonial contacts with native peoples, sustained missionary activity and concern for European health in the tropics occasioned Portuguese medical-botanical prospecting around the globe, in Brazil, Africa, South Asia (India and Sri Lanka), Indonesia and China. Descriptive works about native medicinal plants by Portuguese observers during the early modern period informed Europeans for the first time about many of the efficacious drugs commonly employed in indigenous healing traditions, and then spread these medical methods around the world. Although significant work has recently been published exploring similar themes within the English, Dutch and Spanish colonial spheres, the Portuguese Empire has attracted very little scholarly attention. My goal is to write a monograph describing this global medical exchange. I am requesting funds for twelve consecutive months of full-time writing/editing during academic year 2011-2012.