Domingos Álvares, African Healing, and the Intellectual History of the Atlantic World

Domingos Álvares, African Healing, and the Intellectual History of the Atlantic World

by James H. Sweet
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Between 1730 and 1750, Domingos Alvares traversed the colonial Atlantic world like few Africans of his time—from Africa to South America to Europe. By tracing the steps of this powerful African healer and vodun priest, James Sweet finds dramatic means for unfolding a history of the eighteenth-century Atlantic world in which healing, religion, kinship, and

…  See more details below

Overview

Between 1730 and 1750, Domingos Alvares traversed the colonial Atlantic world like few Africans of his time—from Africa to South America to Europe. By tracing the steps of this powerful African healer and vodun priest, James Sweet finds dramatic means for unfolding a history of the eighteenth-century Atlantic world in which healing, religion, kinship, and political subversion were intimately connected.

Alvares treated many people across the Atlantic, yet healing was rarely a simple matter of remedying illness and disease. Through the language of health and healing, Alvares also addressed the profound alienation of warfare, capitalism, and the African slave trade. As a result, he and other African healers frequently ran afoul of imperial power brokers. Nevertheless, even the powerful suffered isolation in the Atlantic world and often turned to African healers for answers. In this way, healers simultaneously became fierce critics of Atlantic imperialism and expert translators of it, adapting their therapeutic strategies in order to secure social relevance and even power. By tracing Alvares' frequent uprooting and border crossing, Sweet illuminates how African healing practices evolved in the diaspora, contesting the social and political hierarchies of imperialism while also making profound impacts on the intellectual discourse of the "modern" Atlantic world.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[A] well-written narrative. . . . Sweet exposes one of the many ways in which African cultural practices profoundly shaped the interactions between 18th-century Africans and Europeans."
-Journal of African American History

"Demonstrates an interesting, well-written, and rigorous methodological approach to studying the commonalities of the life and politics of Domingo Álvares. . . . Sweet has produced a comprehensive examination of the African diaspora with emphasis on the Black Atlantic."
-The Historian

"This exceptionally creative, engaging, and provocative book is a tour de force of historical imagination and sensitivity and a hallmark of Atlantic history."—Joseph C. Miller, University of Virginia

"James Sweet's fascinating narrative is a superb social and cultural history of the eighteenth-century Lusophone Atlantic world. One will read this groundbreaking, extensively researched, and imaginative book with great interest."—Luis Nicolau Pares, Universidade Federal da Bahia

"Engage[s] and expand[s] both biological and historical-cultural approaches to colonial epidemics and medicine."—Early American Literature

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781469609751
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
08/01/2013
Edition description:
1
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
345,457
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.80(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
This exceptionally creative, engaging, and provocative book is a tour de force of historical imagination and sensitivity and a hallmark of Atlantic history.—Joseph C. Miller, University of Virginia

Engage[s] and expand[s] both biological and historical-cultural approaches to colonial epidemics and medicine.—Early American Literature

Meet the Author

James H. Sweet is professor of history at the University of Wisconsin.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >