R.A. Kashanipour

R.A. Kashanipour

I am an ethnohistorian and historical anthropologist of medicine and science in Latin America, with particular interests in colonial and contemporary Maya peoples of Mesoamerica. More broadly, I am interested in the making of metaphysical knowledges and epistemologies of experience of the early modern world. My current historical scholarly projects include two book projects. My first book project, Between Magic and Medicine: Colonial Yucatec Healing and the Spanish Atlantic World, explores networks of sickness and healing in colonial Yucatán and local production of medical knowledge in the Enlightenment-era Spanish Atlantic. The history of medicine, I argue, has largely overlooked the experiential and cooperative foundations of the production of knowledge. This book is in production with the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture. My next book, tentatively titled The Morality of the Moon: Fable, Science, and Fiction in Enlightenment Mexico, examines how popular and, often, censored sixteenth and seventeenth centuries accounts of lunar travel reflected the tenuous emergence of modern metaphysics.  My longstanding anthropological research involves the contemporary ethnobotany and lived medical practices of the Lacandón Maya of Chiapas, Mexico. 



Scholarly Publications

Between Magic and Medicine: Colonial Yucatec Healing and the Spanish Atlantic World. (Omohundro Institute/University of North Carolina Press, in progress).

The Morality of the Moon: Fable, Science, and Fiction in Enlightenment Mexico. (in progress)

“Review Essay: Contagious Connections: Recent Approaches to the History of Medicine in Early America.” William & Mary Quarterly 73:1 (2016), 141-159.

“The Morality of the Moon: Fray Manuel de Rivas’s Sizigias y Quadraturas of 1773,” in Fugitive Knowledge: The Preservation and Loss of Knowledge in Cultural Contact Zones. Andreas Beer and Gesa Mackenthun, eds. Berlin: Waxmann, (2015), 145-162.

“Northern Lacandon Maya Medicinal Plant Use in the Communities of Lacanja Chan Sayab and Naha’, Chiapas, Mexico.” With R. McGee. Journal of Ecological Anthropology (Summer 2004): 47-66.

Digital Scholarship

“Connecting the Empire: Materia Medica in the Spanish Atlantic World.” Series Editor, the Recipes Project, July-August 2016.

“Joyful News of Medicine from Iberian Worlds.” the Recipes Project (https://recipes.hypotheses.org/8204), July 19, 2016.

“Thomas Gage’s Chocolate Recipe and Regimen of 1655.” the Recipes Project (https://recipes.hypotheses.org/7589), March 22, 2016.

“Sickness Personified: Clandestine Healing in Colonial Yucatán, Part 1.” the Recipes Project (http://recipes.hypotheses.org/2948), December 19, 2013. 

“Sickness Personified: Clandestine Healing in Colonial Yucatán, Part 2.” the Recipes Project (http://recipes.hypotheses.org/2976), December 20, 2013.

“Words of the Wise: Colonial Maya Medicine.” the Recipes Project
(recipes.hypotheses.org/2202), August 20, 2013.

Additional Scholarship

“Family, Teaching and Geopolitics in a Culturally Alienated Society,” in Going Inward: The Role of Cultural Introspection in College Teaching. S. D. Longerbeam and A. F. Chávez, eds.New York: Peter Lang Publishing (2016), 143-150.

“Mentoring and the Challenge of the Humanities,” in Terra Cognita: Graduate Students in the Archives : A Retrospective on the CLIR Mellon Fellowship For Dissertation Research in Original Sources, R.A. Kashanipour and Kathlin Smith, eds. Washington, D.C.: Council on Library Information Resources, 2016.

Book Reviews

Review of Politics of the Maya Court: Hierarchy and Change in the Late Classic Period, by Sarah E. Jackson and Translating Maya Hieroglyphics, by Scott A.J. Johnson. Mesoamérica (December 2015).

Review of Angels, Demons and the New World, edited by Francisco Cervantes and Andrew Redden. American Historical Review 119:2 (2014), 948-950.

Review of City Indians in Spain’s American Empire: Urban Indigenous Society in Colonial Mesoamerica and Andean South America, 1530-1810, edited by Dana Velasco Murillo, Mark Lentz, and Margarita R. Ochoa, Hispanic American Historical Review 93:4(2013), 700-701.

“Beyond Discovery and Enlightenment: Recent Works on Science in the Atlantic World.” Atlantic Studies: Literary, Cultural, and Historical Perspectives 7:4 (2010), 509-514.

Areas of Teaching

Colonial Latin America
Modern Latin America
Mesoamerican Ethnohistory
History of Medicine in the Spanish Atlantic World
History of Science in the Early Modern Atlantic World
Slavery in Latin America & the Caribbean
Resistance, Rebellion and Revolution in Latin America
History of Spanish Empire
Historiography of Mexico