Towards a transimperial history of science, technology, and medicine in Africa

Start - End 
2023 - 2023 (ongoing)



Inspired by the paradigmatic shifts of both transnational and global history, historians have, in recent years, begun to question the methodological nationalism and the exceptionalist discourses pervading the history of colonialism and imperialism. They argue that empires were not closed entities in which ideas, knowledge and practices were only generated in the metropole or, during the colonial encounter, in the colonies – nor did they only circulate between metropole and colonies within the same empire. This research project adopts this new lens of transimperial history to look at how colonies and empires in Africa connected and disconnected with each other and the wider world in the fields of science, technology and medicine. Through various case studies relating to different European empires in Africa, it will analyse how actors, institutions and networks promoted, shaped, disrupted or rejected the transimperial circulation and adaptation of ideas, knowledge and practices.