A Colonial Lexicon: Of Birth Ritual, Medicalization, and by Nancy Rose Hunt

By Nancy Rose Hunt

A Colonial Lexicon is the 1st old research of the way childbirth turned medicalized in Africa. Rejecting the “colonial come upon” paradigm pervasive in present reviews, Nancy Rose Hunt elegantly weaves jointly tales approximately autopsies and bicycles, obstetric surgical procedure and male initiation, to bare how issues approximately unusual new items and techniques shaped the hybrid social international of colonialism and its aftermath in Mobutu’s Zaire.
Relying on archival learn in England and Belgium, in addition to fieldwork within the Congo, Hunt reconstructs an ethnographic heritage of a distant British Baptist project suffering to outlive less than the successive regimes of King Leopold II’s Congo loose nation, the hyper-hygienic, pronatalist Belgian Congo, and Mobutu’s Zaire. After exploring the roots of social replica in rituals of manhood, she exhibits how the arriving of the short and glossy ushered in novel productions of gender, noticeable both within the compelled exertions of highway building and the medicalization of childbirth. Hunt specializes in a in particular interwar modernity, the place the rate of airplanes and bicycles correlated with a brand new, cellular drugs aimed toward curtailing epidemics and enumerating colonial matters. interesting tales approximately imperial masculinities, Christmas rituals, evangelical humor, colonial terror, and eu cannibalism display that way of life within the challenge, on plantations, and below a strongly Catholic colonial kingdom was once by no means relatively what it appeared. In an international the place each person used to be dwelling in translation, privileged entry to new gadgets and applied sciences allowed a category of “colonial heart figures”—particularly lecturers, nurses, and midwives—to mediate the evolving hybridity of Congolese society. effectively blurring traditional differences among precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial events, Hunt strikes directly to talk about the unforeseen presence of colonial fragments within the shiny global of today’s postcolonial Africa.
With its shut recognition to semiotics in addition to sociology, A Colonial Lexiconwill curiosity experts in anthropology, African historical past, obstetrics and gynecology, scientific background, faith, and women’s and cultural studies.

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