314 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 3 halftones, 2 maps, 5 tables, notes, bibl., index
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-3087-8
Published: April 2017
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-3086-1
Published: April 2017
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-3088-5
Published: February 2017
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Drawing on an array of governmental and ecclesiastical sources—notably Inquisition records—Gómez highlights more than one hundred black ritual practitioners regarded as masters of healing practices and as social and spiritual leaders. He shows how they developed evidence-based healing principles based on sensorial experience rather than on dogma. He elucidates how they nourished ideas about the universality of human bodies, which contributed to the rise of empirical testing of disease origins and cures. Both colonial authorities and Caribbean people of all conditions viewed this experiential knowledge as powerful and competitive. In some ways, it served to respond to the ills of slavery. Even more crucial, however, it demonstrates how the black Atlantic helped creatively to fashion the early modern world.
About the Author
Pablo F. Gomez is assistant professor in the Department of Medical History and Bioethics and the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
For more information about Pablo F. Gómez, visit the Author Page.
“Pablo F. Gómez’s deep knowledge of the early modern Atlantic is built on a rock-solid documentary core that brings to light remarkable individuals and their stories. His depiction of an early Afro-Caribbean subculture with powerful male and female healers as respected and often feared figures is fully convincing, and the book makes a significant contribution to the history of science and medicine as well as the history of the Caribbean and the African diaspora.”--Kris Lane, Tulane University
“The Experiential Caribbean represents a stunning scholarly achievement, engendering novel ways to think about cultural formation at the levels of both method and epistemology. Gómez’s history of the production and circulation of medical knowledge in the crucible of the Caribbean firmly engages the cultural and intellectual histories of an expansive Atlantic world. Reading this book has been a mind-bending experience.”--Herman L. Bennett, The Graduate Center, City University of New York