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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks very much for your consideration,
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
University of Cambridge