October 17, 2008               

AMHERST, Mass.—Londa Schiebinger, John L. Hinds Professor of History of Science at Stanford University and the Barbara D. Finberg Director of the Clayman Institute for Gender Research, will deliver Amherst College’s annual Hugh Hawkins lecture, titled “Exotic Abortifacients: Gender Politics of Plants in the 18th-Century Atlantic World,” on Thursday, Oct. 30, at 4:30 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room of Amherst’s Converse Hall. Sponsored by the Department of History and the Dean of the Faculty, the lecture is free and open to the public.

Schiebinger’s talk is part of a larger project on colonial science in the Atlantic World, especially in the slave societies of the Caribbean. Her project reconceptualizes research in four areas: knowledge of African contributions to early modern science, the historiography of race in science, the history of human experimentation and the role of science in the 18th-century Atlantic world.

Schiebinger is author of The Mind Has No Sex?: Women in the Origins of Modern Science, Nature’s Body: Gender in the Making of Modern Science, Has Feminism Changed Science? and Plants and Empire: Colonial Bioprospecting in the Atlantic World. She has received numerous prizes and awards, including the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize, the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2005 Prize in Atlantic History from the American Historical Association.

The annual Hawkins Lecture honors Hugh Hawkins, professor emeritus of history and American studies at Amherst. A distinguished scholar of American higher education, of the American South, and of cultural and intellectual history, Hawkins retired in 2000 after teaching for more than 40 years at Amherst, where he helped build both the history and the American studies departments.