Colonial medicine

Medical Encounters: Knowledge and Identity in Early American Literatures bookcoverKelly Wisecup, assistant professor of English, explores how conversations about illness and healing among European colonists, Native Americans and New World Africans influenced colonial writing in her book Medical Encounters: Knowledge and Identity in Early American Literatures (University of Massachusetts Press).

"The book was inspired first by my sense that colonists were far more interested in and reliant upon Native and African American medical knowledge than scholars had accounted for," Wisecup says.

"Native and African peoples used their medical knowledge to critique colonists, attain control over their own bodies and actions and to call their people to 'healthy' modes of living."