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Unearthing Hidden Stories of Yaupon, North America’s Native Caffeinated Plant

March 17 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

For millennia, Indigenous communities have wielded the stimulating leaves of caffeinated hollies native to the Americas for their social and psychoactive potency. With European Contact, yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) became the beverage of choice in the southern region of the Spanish empire and has spread to the Levant and to a café near you.

But its lesser-known and equally delightful caffeinated cousin yaupon (the unfortunately named Ilex vomitoria) flourishes across southern North America, where it is at best still a curio. Yet in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, serious attempts were made to put yaupon on a commercial stage equal to coffee and tea by introducing it to a broader North Atlantic public.

This talk untangles these failed attempts and explores why now yaupon has started to gain traction as an eco-responsible, earthy alternative to mass-produced caffeinated drinks.

About the speaker

Christine Folch is Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University and has a secondary appointment at the Nicholas School of the Environment as Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Policy. (And she just received tenure!)

Folch is a scholar of energy politics, natural resources, and environment in Latin America, with an attention to how nature is intertwined with power struggles, national identities, and history. She holds a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the City University of New York and a B.A. in History from Harvard College.

She is currently drafting a cultural history of yerba mate, the stimulating beverage popular in southern South America and its lesser-known but equally delightful caffeinated Ilex/holly-family.

*Zoom registration required*

 

Details

Date:
March 17
Time:
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:
Website:
https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_fU48C57HRh-Cb_Yzd_UbXA

Other

Audience
Adults
Requires Advance Registration
Yes

Venue

Online
Georgia + Google Map

Details

Date:
March 17
Time:
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:
Website:
https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_fU48C57HRh-Cb_Yzd_UbXA

Other

Audience
Adults
Requires Advance Registration
Yes

Venue

Online
Georgia + Google Map