Medicine, mobility and the empire
Publication date: 7 November 2017
David Livingstone’s Zambesi expedition marked the beginning of a series of dynamic medical encounters, exchanges and connections between the British and Malawians. Medicine, mobility and the empire explores these entangled histories by placing medicine in the frameworks of mobilities and networks that extended across Southern Africa and beyond. It provides a new approach to the study of medicine and empire, expanding the ways in which medicine and colonialism can be investigated.
Drawing on a range of archival, published and oral sources, the book argues that mobility was a crucial aspect of intertwined medical cultures that shared a search for medicines and health in changing conditions. Mobile individuals, ideas and materials played key roles in the networks that facilitated medical practice and the production of medical knowledge. British ideas and practices of healthy living and mobility in South-Central Africa were made and contested in networks that connected professionals and laypeople. For some Malawians, the partly overlapping networks of transatlantic Protestant Christianity, colonial medicine and migrant labour offered new connections and access to medicines, knowledge and expertise – although these networks were also contested and limiting. Through networked studies of spiritual medicine, quinine and colonial interests in Malawian medicines, key aspects of mobile medicine are explored further, revealing new connections between the imperial metropole, colonies, missions and emerging pharmaceutical industries.
Medicine, mobility and the empire will be of value to scholars and students of history and anthropology of colonialism and medicine, as well as a wider readership interested in the plural search for health in the modern world.
Publisher: Manchester Studies in Imperialism