Thesis ID: CBB998318630

Engineering Metropolis: Contagion, Capital, and the Making of British Colonial Cairo, 1882-1922 (2017)

unapi

This dissertation traces the transition of colonial Cairo from a marginal space to the British regime to an object of colonial governance and the site of technological and social intervention. It examines what caused this transition, how it shaped the spatial and social landscape of a booming metropolis, and how these developments produced and sustained opportunities, contradictions, and spaces for contestation and opposition. This dissertation challenges the current literature on British Cairo, which treats the colonial era (1882-1922) as a homogeneous expression of the regime’s retreat and of capital-led growth, by providing an account of the regime’s program of infrastructural reorganization and schemes of public housing and town planning. Because the literature largely ignores this history, it does not detect the colonial regime’s increasing discomfort at capital-led urban development or the regime’s late attempt to refashion its relation to capital and to take charge of Cairo’s future growth. The first part of this dissertation examines the pressures and crises that led to this transition. A protracted biological crisis that saw waves of cholera epidemics and high death rates underscored the need for constructing and improving infrastructures of sanitation and service provision. And capital’s forceful entry into the city led to a speculative property bubble, a housing crisis, and uncoordinated urban expansion, which made the disjointed framework of urban administration and the absence of regulations all the more evident. These crises made the colonial regime liable to critiques from elites, proponents, and certainly from the nascent anticolonial movement. The second part examines projects of sanitation and schemes of housing and town planning that the regime turned to since the beginning of the twentieth century and that embodied a changing approach to the city. During the latter two decades of the occupation, the colonial regime invested in upgrading Cairo’s water supply and constructing the city’s first sewage network. This dissertation traces not only how these infrastructural technologies worked but also how they became sites of contestation over power and knowledge. It examines the reception of infrastructures by urban dwellers across the social spectrum, the techno-social debates they occasioned among expert managers and designers, including above all engineers and public hygienists, and the social visions they embodied. Finally, the regime broached projects of public housing and town planning that constituted, in one sense, the culmination of a program of infrastructural reorganization, and in another, an attempt to give coherence to urban governance and assume leadership over the city’s development. By offering material improvement, these schemes were also meant to neutralize political discontent, which nonetheless erupted with the 1919 revolution.

...More
Citation URI
https://data.isiscb.org/isis/citation/CBB998318630/

Similar Citations

Article Karimkhanzand, Mostafa; (2013)
Iranian Medicine's Encounter with the Cholera and Plague Epidemics in Qajar Iran in the 19th Century (/isis/citation/CBB001510311/)

Book Guido Zucconi; (2022)
La città degli igienisti. Riforme e utopie sanitarie nell’Italia umbertina (/isis/citation/CBB086521160/)

Book Mills, Dennis; (2015)
Effluence and Influence: Public Health, Sewers & Politics in Lincoln 1848-50 (/isis/citation/CBB314462408/)

Article Pemberton, Rita; (2012)
Dirt, Disease and Death: Control, Resistance and Change in the Post-Emancipation Caribbean (/isis/citation/CBB001420620/)

Book Michael Zeheter; (2016)
Epidemics, Empire, and Environments: Cholera in Madras and Quebec City, 1818–1910 (/isis/citation/CBB332451344/)

Thesis Christopher Steven Kindell; (2019)
The Sanitary Sieve: Public Health, Infectious Diseases, and the Urbanization of Honolulu, c. 1850–1914 (/isis/citation/CBB673158334/)

Book Espinosa, Mariola; (2009)
Epidemic Invasions: Yellow Fever and the Limits of Cuban Independence, 1878--1930 (/isis/citation/CBB001020061/)

Book Jacob Doherty; (2021)
Waste Worlds: Inhabiting Kampala's Infrastructures of Disposability (/isis/citation/CBB866747879/)

Book Moira M. W. Chan-Yeung; (2018)
A Medical History of Hong Kong: 1842–1941 (/isis/citation/CBB803413564/)

Book Cohen, William A.; Johnson, Ryan; (2005)
Filth: Dirt, Disgust, and Modern Life (/isis/citation/CBB000830265/)

Book Mari K. Webel; (2019)
The Politics of Disease Control: Sleeping Sickness in Eastern Africa, 1890–1920 (/isis/citation/CBB175864050/)

Article Armiero, Marco; (2011)
Enclosing the Sea: Remaking Work and Leisure Spaces on the Naples Waterfront, 1870--1900 (/isis/citation/CBB001212863/)

Article Brittany Merritt; (2017)
Insecurities of Empire: Struggles over health reform in interwar Barbados (/isis/citation/CBB808225876/)

Book Jacob Steere-Williams; (2020)
The Filth Disease: Typhoid Fever and the Practices of Epidemiology in Victorian England (/isis/citation/CBB965282260/)

Article Martín, Abel Fernando Martínez; Abril, Fred Gustavo Manrique; Álvarez, Bernardo Francisco Meléndez; (2007)
La pandemia de gripa de 1918 en Bogotá (/isis/citation/CBB000831359/)

Authors & Contributors
Cohen, William A.
Johnson, Ryan
Barnes, David S.
Blackadder, Neil
Bristow, Joseph
Childers, Joseph W.
Journals
Dynamis: Acta Hispanica ad Medicinae Scientiarumque Historiam Illustrandam
Radical History Review
Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin Canadienne d'Histoire de la Medecine
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Tarikh-e Elm (The Iranian Journal for the History of Science)
Technology and Culture
Publishers
University of Chicago Press
University of Minnesota Press
Georgia Institute of Technology
Carocci Editore
Ohio University Press
Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology
Concepts
Public health
Sanitation
Epidemics
Great Britain, colonies
Cholera
Infrastructure
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
18th century
Qajar dynasty, Iran (1794-1925)
21st century
Places
Hong Kong
Uganda
London (England)
Paris (France)
Colombia
Bogotá (Colombia)
Comments

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment