The American Institute of the History of Pharmacy and the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy are pleased to announce the inaugural Edward Kremers Seminar in the History of Pharmacy & Drugs. The 2020 Summer “Kreminar” will explore the theme of Cannabis, and the second presentation will be by Dr. Chris Duvall speaking about his recent book, The African Roots of Marijuana.
Chris Duvall is a geographer who studies people-plant interactions. Most of his work has focused on western Africa and the Atlantic World. His recent publications include Cannabis (Reaktion Books, 2014), The African Roots of Marijuana (Duke University Press, 2019), and cannabis-related articles in EchoGéo, Space and Polity, and Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History. He is currently Chair of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of New Mexico.
African Roots of Marijuana Presentation Abstract: In The African Roots of Marijuana (Duke University Press, 2019), Chris Duvall traces marijuana’s African past, and argues that better awareness of this history would improve how cannabis is managed nowadays.
In this presentation, Prof. Duvall sketches the drug plant’s dispersal from South Asia to Africa to the Americas, and discusses how European perceptions of these places affected 19th- and early 20th century commerce in pharmaceutical cannabis. Based on market data from five continents, he shows that British colonial policies in India, racist attitudes toward Africa, and ignorance of cannabis pharmacology altogether drove up pharmaceutical prices and simultaneously brought down the plant drug’s value in Western medicine. These pressures removed governments’ political-economic interests in sparing cannabis from legal control, and helped close the global pharmaceutical market. Had European pharmacists and merchants learned from African (and South Asian) societies, the plant drug’s value would have been higher and more stable in global pharmaceutical markets.
The 2020 Summer Kreminar will be a virtual seminar with five streaming online presentations. Each presentation will run from 1:00–2:30 Eastern time (12:00–1:30 Central time) on a Thursday in May or June. Participants will be required to preregister for each presentation.
Dr. Lucas Richert, the George Urdang Chair in the History of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy and the AIHP Historical Director, will host the Kreminar.
The American Institute of the History of Pharmacy is documenting and preserving pharmacy stories and experiences during the COVID-19 global pandemic for the benefit of future historians and scholars. We seek to record the effects of this public health emergency on all types of pharmacy experiences. We invite you to share your pharmacy stories, photos, videos, artifacts, and other documentation of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
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