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Laia Portet i Codina PhD


My dissertation places us in the late seventeenth century Paris, home of the Sun King (Louis XIV) and European capital of fashion, to address the impact of exotic drugs on French print culture, medicine, and trade.  The scope of my thesis is to put in dialogue plural historiographies to explore the exotic as concept and object. By focusing on Pierre Pomet, a French grocer-druggist, collector, and author of one of the most popular treatises on drugs of the first half of the 18th century, the Histoire Géneral des Drogues, my research follows exotic drugs around and beyond Paris taking the reader to the many places where they could be admired, purchased, traded, experienced, manufactured and studied. In doing so, it discusses how these places and the people in them affected the way in which scientific knowledge about drugs was created and disseminated through print.

I got my Bachelor's degree in History from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, where I specialized in Early Modern social movements. My undergraduate dissertation studied a local bread riot (1789) from the perspective of food history.
I have a Masters Degree in History and Culture of Food from the Universitat of Barcelona and another one in World History from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra. My thesis in Food History analyzed changes and continuities in the perception of the healthiness of Catalan food culture in medical topographies (1789-1939). My thesis in World History explored the projection of the western idea of civilization in colonial lands through food (1807-1869).


Research Interests

Production, dissemination, reception, and representation of scientific forms of knowledge. 

Early modern material culture

Food History



Undergraduate supervision: Paper 14-Early Modern Material Culture

Other Professional Activities

Co-Convener of "Things" Seminar Series organized by the Center for Research on Arts, Social Sciences and HUmanities 

Co-Convener of the Early Modern Interdisciplinary Seminar

Co-Convener of the Cultural History Workshop


  • Early Modern History