Professor Jim Sweet (History) won the James A. Rawley Prize in Atlantic History for his recent book Domingos Alvares, African Healing, and the Intellectual History of the Atlantic World (University of North Carolina Press, 2011)
The prize is awarded by the American Historical Association and recognizes outstanding historical writing that explores aspects of integration of Atlantic worlds before the 20th century.
The book is Sweet’s second publication and traces the history of Domingos Alvares, a freed African slave who used African remedies to heal illnesses and diseases during his journeys across the Atlantic.
Unlike many other Africans who crossed the Atlantic against their will as a part of the slave trade, Alvares traversed the ocean out of a desire to cure ailments that plagued those aboard colonial vessels.
By following Alvarez’s history from 1730 to 1750 and tracing his path from Africa, to Brazil to Portugal—where he was ultimately tortured and exiled as part of the Inquistion— this book opens a window to a facet of history rarely explored.
The award will be presented to Sweet at American Historical Association meeting this month.
Story by Holly Hartung, College of Letters & Science