Africa as a Living Laboratory Empire, Development, and the Problem of Scientific Knowledge, 1870-1950

ISBN-10: 0226803473
ISBN-13: 9780226803470
Edition: 2011
Authors: Helen Tilley
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Description: Tropical Africa was one of the last regions of the world to experience formal European colonialism, a process that coincided with the advent of a range of new scientific specialties and research methods. Africa as a Living Laboratoryis a  More...

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Book details

List price: $35.00
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 4/15/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 520
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.75" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.826
Language: English

Tropical Africa was one of the last regions of the world to experience formal European colonialism, a process that coincided with the advent of a range of new scientific specialties and research methods. Africa as a Living Laboratoryis a far-reaching study of the thorny relationship between imperialism and the role of scientific expertiseenvironmental, medical, racial, and anthropologicalin the colonization of British Africa. A key source for Helen Tilley's analysis is the African Research Survey, a project undertaken in the 1930s to explore how modern science was being applied to African problems. This project both embraced and recommended an interdisciplinary approach to research on Africa that, Tilley argues, underscored the heterogeneity of African environments and the interrelations among the problems being studied. While the aim of British colonialists was unquestionably to transform and modernize Africa, their efforts, Tilley contends, were often unexpectedly subverted by scientific concerns with the local and vernacular. Meticulously researched and gracefully argued, Africa as a Living Laboratorytransforms our understanding of imperial history, colonial development, and the role science played in both.

Helen Tilley is associate professor of history at Northwestern University and is affiliated with the programs in African Studies and Science in Human Culture.

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Africa as a Living Laboratory
An Imperial Laboratory: Scientific Societies, Geopolitics, and Territorial Acquisitions
A Development Laboratory: The African Research Survey, the Machinery of Knowledge, and Imperial Coordination
An Environmental Laboratory: �Native� Agriculture, Tropical Infertility, and Ecological Models of Development
A Medical Laboratory: Infectious Diseases, Ecological Methods, and Modernization
A Racial Laboratory: Imperial Politics, Race Prejudice, and Mental Capacity
An Anthropological Laboratory: Ethnographic Research, Imperial Administration, and Magical Knowledge
A Living Laboratory: Ethnosciences, Field Sciences, and the Problem of Epistemic Pluralism
Appendix: African Colonial Service Employment, 1913-51
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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