Seeking co-presenters for HSS 2019, Session on Science in Africa

Jules Skotnes-Brown's picture
Call for Papers
December 21, 2018
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
African History / Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Intellectual History, Environmental History / Studies


I am seeking three co-panellists for a proposed session at the History of Science Society's annual meeting in Utrecht, 2019 on the history of science in Africa. My own work traces the development of an autonomous settler-scientific culture in South Africa, and its role in shaping a new ontology of nature, c. 1890s-1930s. The project examines how ‘settler science’ was utilised in controlling borderlands settlements and wilderness through an examination of zoonotic diseases, animal and insect mobilities, weather, and labour. I trace how settler science, indigenous knowledge, and so-called folk biology intermingled, but necessarily complicate the boundaries between these forms of knowledge.

Themes of particular interest for this panel include, but are not limited to:   

  • The development of scientific cultures in African contexts
  • The interaction between African field sciences and global disciplines
  • The development of autonomous scientific institutions
  • How sciences interacted with, transformed, constructed, (mis)constructed, challenged, appropriated, and plagiarised indigenous and folk knowledge
  • How different forms of knowledge were studied, categorised, and classified (by settlers or indigenous peoples).
  • Science in the service of the capitalisation, capture, and control of land, labour and resources
  • Decolonising history of science in Africa


If interested, please send a description of your work to  


Thanks very much for your consideration,

Jules Skotnes-Brown
PhD Candidate
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
University of Cambridge

Contact Info: 

Jules Skotnes-Brown


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