Thesis ID: CBB001560671

Transnationalism in the Colonies: Cooperation, Rivalry, and Race in German and French Tropical Medicine, 1880--1930 (2005)


Neill, Deborah Joy (Author)

University of Toronto

Publication Date: 2005
Physical Details: 392 pp.
Language: English

This dissertation compares the development of health services in the French and German tropical colonies between 1880 and 1930. Despite the political tensions between these two nations, interest groups in both countries found common ground in matters of culture, science, and economics. Among these groups were the scientists and doctors involved in the growth of the new specialty of tropical medicine. As this field gained prominence in the late nineteenth century, doctors developed transnational networks that helped to shape the cultural, political and social development of health-care in the colonies. These transnational networks add an important dimension to our understanding of colonialism and European history. The dissertation begins with a discussion of the scientific breakthroughs of the early 1880s and the importance of the colonial context in setting the agenda for the new specialty of tropical medicine. This section includes an analysis of the institutions, societies, conferences, and journals that shaped this new field of inquiry. It then examines the provision of health services in two neighboring colonies---German Cameroun and French Equatorial Africa---to compare how two different European administrations approached the challenges of colonial health care. Thereafter the dissertation examines the context in which the medical campaign against sleeping sickness developed, from metropolitan decisions about research and funding to the local initiatives undertaken in German Cameroun and AEF between 1900 and 1914. By emphasizing how the colonies functioned as testing grounds for a broader set of common European values, this study challenges assumptions about the primacy of nationalism and imperial rivalries in the development of colonial projects. In doing so it argues that the idea of race played a key role in shaping a common culture and belief system shared by European doctors. Whereas the histories of both French and German colonialism have been relatively well studied from other perspectives during the half-century under consideration here, each national history is incomplete without a fuller understanding of Europe's interaction with other parts of the world.


Description “Compares the development of health services in the French and German tropical colonies.” (from the abstract) Cited in Diss. Abstr. Int. A 66/10 (2006): 3774. UMI pub. no. NR07693.

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Authors & Contributors
Webel, Mari K.
Walther, Daniel J.
Vann, Michael G.
Trujillo-Pagan, Nicole Elise
Pugach, Sara Elizabeth Berg
Pieters, Toine
Social History of Medicine
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin Canadienne d'Histoire de la Medecine
Social Studies of Science
International Journal of African Historical Studies
University of Michigan Press
Ohio University Press
Duke University Press
University of California, Berkeley
Public health
Germany, colonies
Tropical medicine
France, colonies
Jamot, Eugene
Time Periods
20th century, early
19th century
20th century
20th century, late
Tanzania (Tanganyika, Zanzibar)
League of Nations
Rockefeller Foundation

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