Tag Archives: pharmacy

Call for Papers: Colonial Histories of Plant-Based Pharmaceuticals

Image courtesy of the Wellcome Collection: The Munsong cinchona plantation, Kalimpong, Bengal, India: a woman in traditional Bengali dress holds a circular tray of cinchona seeds (the plant of which is used to produce the anti-malarial drug quinine), which are planted by the Bengali man next to her. Photograph, 1905/1920 (https://wellcomecollection.org/works/u3vcd8uy).

History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals, the official journal of the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy (AIHP), is pleased to announce a call for papers for a special issue: “Colonial Histories of Plant-Based Pharmaceuticals.” The issue will appear as volume 63, number 2 of HoPP (Winter 2021). Guest editors for the special issue will be Dr. Geoff Bil and Dr. Jaipreet Virdi, both of the University of Delaware.

Submission Guidelines

To submit a proposal for the special issue, please send a 200-word abstract and 1-page CV to guest editors Geoff Bil (gbil@udel.edu) and Jaipreet Virdi (jvirdi@udel.edu) by January 31, 2021. Invitations for manuscript submission of 8,000 words will be sent by February 6, 2021, with first drafts due April 15, 2021, for peer review. Please consult the full HoPP author guidelines when preparing manuscripts.

Call for Papers

Plants and their medicinal properties have been used for healing since time immemorial. Plant-based pharmacopoeias have generated local, regional, and global systems of production, distribution, and consumption; defined trade relations across borders; and even accompanied exchanges of bodies and technologies. Scholars have examined, for instance, how the circulation and consumption of plants and pharmaceuticals were generated within deeply inequitable systems of colonization, with the accompanying exploitation, suppression, and erasure of ancestral knowledges. Within these contexts, the very definition of plants as medicines—as opposed to foods, taxonomical specimens, symbols or ornaments—is frequently unstable, shaped by language, culture, empire, and ecological context, and subject to contingent understandings of the body, physiology, illness, and treatment. While the rise of synthetic and chemical pharmaceuticals has inadvertently positioned herbalist approaches as “alternative” healing systems in the Western world, phytomedicines have enjoyed a resurgence in recent years as complementary forms of treatment, even while they constitute 80 percent of pharmacopoeias in the Global South. Increased demand, coupled with ecological destruction wrought by climate change, have furthermore depleted crucial plant resources, thereby threatening Indigenous ways of life. 

What are the cultural and epistemological tensions between plant-based pharmaceuticals and synthetic biomedicines? How have medicinal plants figured in colonial relationships? This special issue of History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals aims to reframe histories of phytomedicines through intersecting approaches from the history of medicine, pharmacy, and pharmacology with postcolonial, Indigenous, and gender studies, histories of science and empire, labor history, environmental history, and related fields.

We seek papers on themes including, but not limited to, the following: 

  • Colonial histories of medicinal plants as examined through Indigenous and local histories
  • “Medical quackery” reframed through new histories of plant-based pharmaceuticals 
  • Workers and labor histories, including intersections with disability and industry
  • Gender, sexuality, and medicinal plant knowledges
  • Global and/or imperial consumption and distribution patterns 
  • Phytomedicines and colonial encounters in the Global South 
  • Plant-based approaches for chronic diseases, disability, and health maintenance
  • Effects of climate change and ecological factors on medicinal plant resources
  • Bioprospecting, patenting, and anti-colonial resistance
  • Medicinal plants in translation

University of Wisconsin Press Welcomes New Journal for 2021: History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals

The University of Wisconsin Press is pleased to announce a new partnership with the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy (AIHP). The institute’s journal, History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals (formerly Pharmacy in History, 1959–2020), will be published by the Press beginning in January 2021. AIHP is located at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy.

AIHP executive director Dennis Birke says, “We look forward to working with the University of Wisconsin Press. With their capabilities and publishing expertise we can continue to place the highest priority on serving our members and community, while exploring new opportunities to broaden the reach of our journal.”

History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals publishes original scholarly articles about the history of pharmacy and pharmaceuticals, broadly defined, including (but not limited to) the history of: pharmacy practice, pharmacy science, pharmacy education, drug regulation, social and cultural aspects of drugs and medicines, the pharmaceutical industry—including the history of pharmaceuticals, drugs, and therapeutics—and facets of the related medical sciences.

History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals publishes two issues per year, and its online content can be found on JSTOR. The title joins the Press’s eleven other peer reviewed academic journals in the humanities and social sciences.

Toni Gunnison, Journals Manager at the University of Wisconsin Press, states, “We are thrilled to add this dynamic and well-established journal to our publishing program. We look forward to partnering with the AIHP, a fellow University of Wisconsin organization, to disseminate scholarship in support of the Wisconsin Idea.”