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The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume V: Historiography$
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Robin Winks

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205661

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205661.001.0001

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Science, Medicine, and the British Empire

Science, Medicine, and the British Empire

(p.264) 16 Science, Medicine, and the British Empire
The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume V: Historiography

Richard Drayton

Oxford University Press

Science and medicine played a part in British expansion from the age of Ralegh to that of Curzon and Nehru. But the critical history of this involvement is just about thirty years old. The terms of the alliance of science and the British Empire had historiographical consequences which endured well into the 20th century. The suggestion that modern science helped to construct the racial ‘Other’ was rapidly absorbed in the 1970s into the mainstream of Imperial history. Work on colonial medicine began by the early 1980s. The inclusion of Britain (and Europe generally) into the space of Imperial history will have important consequences. In particular, by addressing how the ‘indigenous’ negotiated with the exotic, whether in Bombay or Bristol, we are going beyond thinking of empire or science as crimes inflicted by Britain on its colonies.

Keywords:   science, colonial medicine, British Empire, British expansion, Imperial history, Britain, historiography

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