Save the date for an exciting upcoming lectures!
Monday, January 30: Dr. Andreas Motsch, “Early Ethnography in New France.” 4 pm, Cuneo 116.
Joseph-François Lafitau (1681-1746) was a Jesuit missionary in New France who discovered American ginseng and who wrote an extensive comparison of the customs of Native Americans to those of the people of antiquity. He did so in order to prove a key theological point, the common origin of mankind in biblical genesis. While his theological objectives reduce his ethnographic descriptions to means to an end, it is the ethnographic component which has kept the work from being forgotten. Dr. Motsch’s talk will sketch the relation between theology, mission and ethnography and highlight the wealth of ethnographic insights the work still holds in text and image.