Anthony Cavender, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at ETSU, will discuss the use of medicinal plants in Southern Appalachia, from the late nineteenth century through the 1940s. His presentation is part of Blount County Public Library’s Southern Appalachian Studies Series.
Plan to attend on Monday, July 18, at 7 p.m. in the Library’s Sharon Lawson Room.
From the Library’s press release, July 8, 2016:
Cavender says, “This presentation examines how the use of medicinal plants among the [early] residents of Southern Appalachia reveals their understanding of the prevention, cause and treatment of illness.”
He adds that he will also address “the related topics of the Native American influence on Euro-American folk and scientific medicine, food as medicine, and future directions of research in folk medicine.”
This East Tennessee area of Appalachia is one of the most biodiverse areas of the world making this a perfect area for the study and use of medicinal plants.
Cavender specializes in the field of medical anthropology, particularly ethnomedicine. He has conducted research on various aspects of ethnomedicine in Southern Appalachia, Southern Africa, and the highlands of Ecuador. He is the author of several articles, the book, Folk Medicine in Southern Appalachia (2003, University of North Carolina Press), and co-editor of A Tennessee Folklore Sampler (2008, University of Tennessee Press and Tennessee Folklore Society).
The cover image of Folk Medicine in Southern Appalachia is shown at right. The book is described at Amazon.com as:
“… the first comprehensive exploration of the history and practice of folk medicine in the Appalachian region.”
“… Anthony Cavender melds folklore, medical anthropology, and Appalachian history and draws extensively on oral histories and archival sources from the nineteenth century to the present. He provides a complete tour of ailments and folk treatments organized by body systems, as well as information on medicinal plants, patent medicines, and magico-religious beliefs and practices.”
Open to the public, this program is sponsored by the Blount County Public Library, located at 508 N. Cusick Street, Maryville. For more information about library programs or services, call the library at 982-0981 or visit the Web site at www.blounttn.org/197.