This conversation with Chanelle Adams starts by addressing colonial and decolonial methodologies of knowledge production. It then proceeds to describe the history of Madagascar, as well as debunk the (neo)colonial idea of the island being a “terra nullius” as described by Western environmentalist activists. The core of this discussion consists in Chanelle describing her research about the cultural, traditional, social, and political dimensions of medicinal plants in Madagascar, that she calls “pharmacy-gasy.” “Because health is intimately linked to our social lives, I believe it is the ideal intersection to examine power, knowledge, and materials,” she writes.
Chanelle Adams approaches her research as a hybridization of history, the natural sciences, literature and STS theory. During her undergraduate studies at Brown, Chanelle launched a feminist web platform as editor in chief of Bluestockings magazine. Upon graduating, Chanelle became the Managing Editor at Black Girl Dangerous before accepting a Fulbright Fellowship and enrolling at the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales. Currently she is doing archival work in the herbarium of Marseille’s Colonial Museum with specific attention to the materials of Madagascar’s pharmacopoeia. Chanelle’s work, academic and otherwise, has been published by a variety of outlets ranging from NPR to The Feminist Utopia Project.