Africa at Noon–October 19, 2011–Helen Tilley

Fall 2011 Africa at Noon Events


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

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

Helen Tilley
Visiting professor in the Department of Medical History and Bioethics with affiliations to the Program in African Studies, the Center for Culture, History, and Environment, and the History of Science.
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Time and Location: 12:00pm, 206 Ingraham Hall, 1155 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI

Download Poster (pdf)

This talk draws on material from my book of the same title and will focus, in particular, on the significance of ecological and anthropological fieldwork to imperial development in British Africa. Among other things I will explain how my research — which traces scientific networks, funding, and results — has caused me to revise prevalent narratives in African environmental and medical histories of the colonial period.

Speaker’s Bio:
Helen Tilley studies the history of environmental, medical, racial, and anthropological research in colonial and post-colonial Africa. She has co-edited a comparative history of anthropology in colonial Africa, Ordering Africa (2007), and a volume on utopian aspects of contemporary history, Utopia/Dystopia: Conditions of Historical Possibility (2010). Her most recent book, Africa as a Living Laboratory (2011), is the culmination of more than a decade of research in archives in Europe, Africa, and North America. Her current project explores the era of African decolonization, focusing especially on the interplay among bioscientific research, law, and the codification of traditional medicine/knowledge.

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