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November 23, 2020
4:00pm to 5:00pm
Zoom Online

Fall 2020 Colloquium Schedule

We will meet on zoom from 4-5 pm. RSVP links will be circulated with the announcements for the individual talks.

Nov 23

Registration: https://ucla.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYsdeGurzIqGtxldiJYGsO0ROwIFjd72WeD 

Taylor Moore (UCSB): “Tracing the Magical Rhinoceros Horn in Egypt: A Decolonial Materialist History”

Co-sponsored by the European History Colloquium

Can emancipatory, decolonial histories be extracted from objects collected from—or made visible to history by—the archives of colonialism?  This talk explores this question through the case study of the rhinoceros horn amulet (/qarn el-khartit/), an ethnographic object collected by British anthropologist Winifred Blackman during her fieldwork in Egypt in the 1920s. Markedly decentering the traditional colonial history of how the rhinoceros horn was collected and displayed as an object in European museums,  I follow the trail of the rhinoceros horn back to the site of its collection in Egypt to reveal a strikingly different story: one of magic/medicine, gender, race, and enslavement—setagainst the backdrop of Egypt’s imperial pursuits in East Africa. As such, I demonstrate how to “read” the rhinoceros horn as an object-archive that illuminates the networks, actors, and economies whose bodies and labor are generally rendered invisible in Eurocentric histories of global science and medicine.

Taylor M. Moore is a University of California Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow in the History Department at UC Santa Barbara. Her research lies at the intersections of critical race studies,decolonial/postcolonial histories of science, and decolonial materiality studies. Her book manuscript, /Superstitious Women: Race, Magic, and Medicine in Egypt/, uses modern Egyptian amulets as an archive to reconstruct the magical and vernacular medical life-worlds of peasant women healers, and their critical role developing medico-anthropological expertise in Egypt from 1880-1950.