Adding Smoke to Breath
(8 February 2019)
This relaxed talk by Dr Andrew Russell on Thursday, 28 February, 6pm at Palace Green Library, will focus on the history of tobacco smoking and its consequences. Coinciding with the publication of his book 'Anthropology of Tobacco: Ethnographic Adventures in Non-Human Worlds' Andrew's talk will present tobacco as a plant with agency and the ability to assume different shapes according to context. Please book in advance.
In the past 500 years, tobacco use has spread rapidly from its evolutionary origins among indigenous communities in South America. This worldwide growth has been fuelled by its addictive properties, a murky colonial history and its contemporary exploitation by the forces of corporate and state-sponsored capitalism.
This has had frequently disastrous consequences for human health and well-being worldwide. How has an apparently humble plant managed to achieve such world domination? What are the latest manifestations of its shape-shifting abilities? What needs to happen if we are ever to put this particular genie back in its lamp and consider seriously ‘a world without tobacco’?