“All but the Bones”: Reading Taíno remains in Hans Sloane’s “A Voyage to Jamaica”
Visiting from Columbia University, literature scholar KIMBERLY TAKAHATA will talk about the famous 18th century Irish scientist, medical doctor and philosopher Hans Sloane, whose book about his travels to Jamaica influenced the development of science and taxonomy. For Hans Sloane, the eventual founder of the British Museum, everything—and everyone—was collectible. Her talk will discuss how Sloane’s use of natural history conventions in Jamaica categorize the remains of indigenous Taíno peoples as observable artifacts that supposedly prove their extermination. By emphasizing the physical preservation of these remains, she demonstrates how Sloane’s narrative is actually dependent on the care of the living for their dead to provide a model for resisting settler colonial narratives of removal.