Announcing the First Annual Harold and Laura Greer Lecture

November 20, 2019

etching of locusts

Join us on November 20 at 5:30 p.m. in the Cabell Library to hear from Professor Martha Few of Penn State University's history department at the First Annual Harold and Laura Greer Lecture titled, Battling Locust Swarms in Colonial New Spain.

Starting in the 1680s and continuing through the 1830s, the archival record shows that locust swarms in the region of what is now Central America and southern Mexico (Chiapas and Oaxaca) intensified in frequency, duration, and geographic scope. This talk will analyze the politics of insect killing campaigns when locusts swarmed, by juxtaposing archival examples of colonial, local, and indigenous knowledge claims about insect infestations and eradication by colonial scientists, lay people, political and religious authorities, and Indigenous peoples as they grappled with food shortages and famine, fear of disease spread, and threats of social unrest.

Martha Few is a professor of Latin American history and women's, gender, and sexuality studies at Penn State University.  She is senior editor of the Hispanic American Historical Review. Her research concentrates on the histories of Indigenous peoples during Spanish colonial rule in Guatemala, Central America, and southern Mexico through the lenses of medicine and public health, gender and sexuality, environmental history, and human-animal studies.

This event is made possible through the generous support of Harold and Laura Greer, who provided an endowment to establish the Dr. and Mrs. Harold Greer Jr. Distinguished Professorship in Latin American History which also funds an annual lecture focusing on Latin American history. Light refreshments served. Please contact Andrea Wight at 804.828.1635 for additional information or for ADA requirements. 

Please click here to register for this event