In the summer of 1782, Don Juan de Luna, a respected elder citizen of the City of Mexico, nearly choked on a lagartija, a lizard, when he ate it to ease the throbbing tumor on his tongue. The details are foggy, but he likely followed the protocol established by his medical counsel, the celebrated physicist,… Read more →
Lance C. Thurner
Lance C. Thurner is currently a doctoral student in History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, where he finishing a dissertation on natural history, race, and medicine in colonial New Spain. His work examines how indigenous peoples began to be seen as medical assets in the 18th century as imperial reforms aimed to modernize the Spanish empire and elite colonists began discerning the first inklings of Mexican nationalism. Examining the transformation of the Royal Indian Hospital into a center for medical research, expeditions into the countryside to tap the shoulders of native healers, and attempts to reconstruct the deep past to recover mythologized Aztec wisdom, his work shows the diverse ways in which native communities engaged (or chose not to) with the changing meaning of race and indigeneity within New Spain’s medical cultures.