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Northwestern University (Evanston, IL 60208-0001)
Helen Tilley (Project Director: December 2019 to present)
Constructing African Medical Heritage: Legacies of Empire and the Geopolitics of Culture, 1890-1990

Preparation for print publication of a multi-authored monograph on the history of African medical heritage from 1890 to 1990 and preparation of a special issue of M├ęthod(e)s, an African bilingual peer-reviewed journal (English-French). (36 months)

Constructing African Medical Heritage explores the historical connections among African colonial conquest, ethnographic research, decolonization, and medical and art history in order to answer three related questions: How did decolonization and the Cold War affect newly independent states' debates about African medical heritage; in what ways did laws passed, studies published, and ethnographic objects collected during the colonial era shape the contours of this later work; and what role did transnational institutions such as the Organization of African Unity, the World Health Organization, and UNESCO play in these efforts? An NEH publication grant will allow our group to produce a ground-breaking analysis of how different types of African "medical heritage" came into being with the rise and fall of European empires across the continent.

Project fields:
African History; History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Medicine; History, Criticism, and Theory of the Arts

Collaborative Research

Research Programs

$245,328 (approved)
$245,328 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2020 – 9/30/2023