Thesis ID: CBB001560839

Forests without Birds Science, Environment, and Health in French Colonial Vietnam (2011)


Aso, Michitake (Author)

University of Wisconsin at Madison
Mitman, Gregg
Keller, Richard

Publication Date: 2011
Edition Details: Advisors: Mitman, Gregg; Richard Keller
Physical Details: 532 pp.
Language: English

This dissertation examines the evolving relationship of environments, human health, and knowledge production between 1890 and 1954 in French colonial Vietnam. It focuses in particular on the science, capital, and government necessary for the creation of rubber plantations. This dissertation argues that plantations served as experimental sites and shows how changing agricultural practices entailed transformations in disease ecologies. In addition, the sciences of agronomy and medicine were key components of colonial development programs as well as postcolonial nation-building projects. As such, an analysis of these sciences contributes to understandings of how plants and people were incorporated into both imperial and national political rule. This dissertation also explores the role of place in shaping human health, environments, and knowledge production in southern Indochina. It argues that public and private agricultural experimental stations and medical institutes carried out research programs on plant acclimatization and malaria prevention that, reshaped by racial rationalities and colonial sensibilities, encouraged plantation-style production rather than smallholder growth. This decision had social consequences as the abusive labor practices common on plantations led to well-publicized incidents of racialized violence during the colonial period and formed the basis of anti-colonial rhetoric. The needs of the rubber plantations, in turn, invigorated and focused the energy of colonial institutions in innovative ways. These colonial enclaves also served as foci for agronomists and medical researchers, colonial officials, private enterprises, and social activists, generating practices and discourses that anticipated and helped bring about post-colonial development projects.


Description Focuses on the science, capital, and government necessary for the creation of rubber plantations between 1890 and 1954. Cited in ProQuest Diss. & Thes. . ProQuest Doc. ID 912371891.

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Authors & Contributors
Monnais, Laurence
Edington, Claire Ellen
Vann, Michael G.
Anderson, Warwick H.
Aso, Michitake
Bala, Poonam
Environmental History
Health and History
American Historical Review
Archives of Natural History
French Colonial History
Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage
Columbia University
Cambridge University Press
Cornell University Press
Duke University Press
Lexington Books
Oxford University Press
France, colonies
Cross-cultural interaction; cultural influence
Forests and forestry
Science and government
Cerruti, Giovanni Emilio
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
20th century, late
21st century
United States. Forest Service
Museo Calderini
Museo di Scienze Naturali di Torino

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