337 Cohen Hall
Cloning and Cannibalism: Californian Oranges in São Paulo and the History of Science of the Global South
Tiago Saraiva, Drexel University
This presentation experiments with anthropophagy, or ritualized cannibalism, for writing histories of science challenging entrenched divisions between Global North and Global South. While explorations on anthropophagy have been central to the ontological turn in anthropology and science studies, I suggest the value of historically situating the concept among the modernist São Paulo avant-garde of the inter-war period to understand the significance of cloning practices learned in California for reimagining Brazil. Attention to the work of Brazilian researchers dealing with the ravages of a virus affecting local orange orchards reveals a continuum of practices of scientists and artists, all invested in saving Brazil from its condition of ‘tropical sadness’. Contrasting with narratives stressing how the north imposes its presence in the south, or how the south resists the north, history of science written as history of anthropophagy emphasizes the historical role of science in the devouring of the north by the south.