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IMF

Seminar: "Bioprospecting for the Ricettario Fiorentino. Animals, Environment, and Drugs in the Italo-Iberian Medical Trade"

Mackenzie Cooley (Hamilton College)

10 de junio de 2022, 12h

Formato híbrido

b)    Presencial: Aula de seminarios (1er piso) IMF-CSIC,

c/ Egipcíaques, 15, 08001 Barcelona

Coordina Oliver Hochadel (IMF-CSIC)

Actividad organizada por el Grupo de Historia de la Ciencia,

Institució Milà i Fontanals (CSIC, Barcelona)

 

Abstract: Ambergris. Bezoar stones. Balsam from the East and West. Mummia. Mastic. Michoacan. Drawing on research in Italian archives and libraries over 2021-22 with a focus on sixteenth century exempla, this paper follows modifications to editions of the Ricettario Fiorentino, arguably the first modern European pharmacopeia, that developed from access to new bioprospecting across the Indies. The Ricettario’s long publication history, stretching from the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries, offers a window into the changing lists of viable medical substances as winnowed down by an evolving group of experts with shifting priorities when it came to foreign engagement. How did changing access tomateria medica impact the perceived geography of available medicines as understood by local apothecaries, elites, and patients? How did a desire to access valuable and allegedly life-improving/saving materia medica contribute to shifting alignments (financial, intellectual, and political) as Italian medical practitioners aspired to reach into the East and pivoted to the Western “New World”? Centering Florence as an intellectual “shadow capital” for Iberian hard power, especially when it came to collecting, the paper follows the changing lists of available materia medica and perceptions of medical potential latent in nature. 

Mackenzie Cooley is an intellectual historian who studies the uses, abuses, and understandings of the natural world in early modern science and medicine. Her first book,The Perfection of Nature: Animals, Breeding, and Race in the Renaissance (The University of Chicago Press, October 2022) concerns animal-human relationships, the history of biology, and race in Italy and the Spanish Empire. Her edited volume Natural Things: In and Beyond Ecologies of Knowledge (co-edited with Anna Toledano and Duygu Yildirim) will be released with Routledge this year. Cooley’s articles have been published in Isis: Journal of the History of Science Society, Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture, and Journal of Medieval Worlds, among other venues. She is an Assistant Professor of History at Hamilton College and a fellow at Villa I Tatti Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies.

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