Book

Africa as a Living Laboratory

Helen Tilley

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780226803463
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226803487 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226803487.001.0001
Africa as a Living Laboratory

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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. This book studies the relationship between imperialism and the role of scientific expertise—environmental, medical, racial, and anthropological—in the colonization of British Africa. A key source for the author'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 underscored the heterogeneity of African environments and the interrelations among the problems being studied. While the aim of British colonialists was to transform and modernize Africa, their efforts were often unexpectedly subverted by scientific concerns with the local and vernacular. The book examines imperial history, colonial development, and the role science played in both.

Keywords: European colonialism; imperialism; environmental science; medical science; racial science; anthropology; African Research Survey; interdisciplinary

Book.  518 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Colonialism and Imperialism

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Table of Contents

An Imperial Laboratory in Africa as a Living Laboratory

Chapter

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A Development Laboratory in Africa as a Living Laboratory

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An Environmental Laboratory in Africa as a Living Laboratory

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A Medical Laboratory in Africa as a Living Laboratory

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A Racial Laboratory in Africa as a Living Laboratory

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An Anthropological Laboratory in Africa as a Living Laboratory

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A Living Laboratory in Africa as a Living Laboratory

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