The sanitary control of Muslim pilgrims from the Balkans,
This chapter investigates the use of quarantine as an instrument of social
control and as dispositive for the construction and stigmatization of the
Muslim ‘other’. The study takes the under-researched case of the Hajj to
Mecca from the Balkans, hence focusing on Muslims from Bulgaria and
Bosnia-Herzegovina (the latter under Austrian-Hungarian rule as from 1878).
Both Bosnian and Bulgarian Muslim pilgrims experienced quarantine on their
return from Mecca, yet in unequal measures. Bosnian hajjis were given a more
lenient quarantine than their Bulgarian co-religionists by their separate
sanitary authorities – with regard to the duration of isolation and the
disinfection of their bodies and personal belongings. This was due to the
different political and cultural attitudes towards their Muslim minorities
by these two Balkan regimes.
This chapter provides a thorough investigation of the modes by which the
sanitary administration coevolved coherently with and inseparably from the
Spanish state’s modern transport-communication and economic-industrial
infrastructures throughout the nineteenth century. It also investigates
examines how quarantine institutions functioned as sanitary gateways or
entry checkpoints at borders, physically marking and consolidating while
protecting the national territorial space. The paper traces the ideas
underpinning the configuration and development of the sanitary network on
Spanish national territory, which occurred unevenly – with the most evolved
parts depending on certain strategic ports and on links with the railway
transport infrastructure that was still under construction. It also suggests
that the gradual relaxation of quarantine in liberal Spain was periodically
called into question by economic and political policies that defined the
relation between the coastal and inland regions of the country.
This chapter examines the writings of the renowned late-eighteenth-century
Moroccan ambassador Ibn Uthmân Al-Meknassî, the first known traveller from
his country to leave an account of European quarantine as experienced during
his two diplomatic missions in Spain’s Ceuta (1779) and Malta’s Valletta
(1782). It shows that quarantine, on the one hand, acted as a marker of
otherness by which Ibn Othman was identified as a Muslim, though this was
not a uniform process, owing to the fact that significant differences
existed in the degree of alterity experienced in Spain and Malta, and indeed
other parts of the Mediterranean. The subjective opinion on quarantine, on
the other hand, was also one of the means through which Ibn Uthmân situated
himself within Makhzen (Moroccan government) elites at a time when a
division between those who declared themselves in favour of European-style
modernisation and those who advocated a rejection of European novelties was
This chapter investigates the setting up of a network of lazarettos along the
southern and eastern littorals of the Mediterranean during the nineteenth
century. The fundamental thesis is that these lazarettos, constructed and
frequently directed by Europeans, sustained the expansion of Western
colonialism in the region. Starting with an investigation of the workings of
the first Sanitary Councils – in North Africa and Ottoman-ruled ports –
which preceded the International Sanitary Conferences, the study then goes
on to show how maritime quarantine catered for the European powers’
commercial, shipping and imperial interests in the region. By examining the
regulations and the actual practices of disinfection adopted in these
lazarettos, this chapter also shows how these institutions constructed
and/or consolidated stereotypes of the ‘Muslim Arab’ as a ‘threatening
This chapter analyses shifting dynamics within medical missionary work in Nigeria, from support for British colonialism to humanitarianism. It explores Irish Catholic missionaries as nurses, midwives and physicians from c.1937-1970, to the end of the Nigerian Civil War in 1970. It uses unpublished documents to disentangle, although not disconnect, modern missionary work from colonialism. Using gender as a category of analysis it focuses on women’s work during the Nigerian civil war compared to men’s activities, and how the media focused on one but not the other. By giving voice to the “silenced” in history it argues that there was a significant Nigerian presence in relief work during the war, differing from most research which focuses only on the work of whites. Significantly, in the 1960s and 1970s, Catholic mission hospitals became sites for shifts in the understanding of mission during periods of violence and upheaval. As Catholic women renegotiated their place in an emerging decolonised world, complex relationships developed among Irish sisters, Nigerian nuns, priests, Nigerian chiefs and international peacekeepers. Whereas in the 1930s and 1940s, Catholic sisters saw Africa as a fertile ground for converts, over time the Catholic mission tradition liberalised to promote humanitarianism.
Colonial Caring covers over a century of colonial nursing by nurses from a wide range of countries including: Denmark, Britain, USA, Holland and Italy; with the colonised countries including South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Ethiopia, Nigeria, India, Indonesia (Dutch East Indies) and the Danish West Indies. It presents unique perspectives from which to interrogate colonialism and post-colonialism including aspects of race, cultural difference and implications of warfare and politics upon nursing. Viewing nursing’s development under colonial and post-colonial rule reveals different faces of a profession that superficially may appear to be consistent and coherent, yet in reality is constantly reinventing itself. Considering such areas as transnational relationships, class, gender, race and politics, this book aims to present current work in progress within the field, to better understand the complex entanglements in nursing’s development as it was imagined and practised in local imperial, colonial and post-colonial contexts. Taking a chronologically-based structure, early chapters examine nursing in situations of conflict in the post-Crimean period from the Indian Rebellion to the Anglo-Boer War. Recruitment, professionalisation of nursing and of military nursing in particular, are therefore considered before moving deeper into the twentieth century reflecting upon later periods of colonialism in which religion and humanitarianism become more central. Drawing from a wide range of sources from official documents to diaries, memoirs and oral sources, and using a variety of methodologies including qualitative and quantitative approaches, the book represents ground-breaking work.
From 1900 Dutch nurses arrived in the East Indies, but their numbers were wholly insufficient to meet the colony’s increased demand for competent nursing staff. Therefore European physicians started training native women as nurses. Initial endeavours were disappointing with problems closely connected to the position young women occupied in native society. Young women from poor families were uneducated, whilst those from middle and upper classes often considered it culturally improper to live outside their parents’ home at marriageable age. The poor reputation of governmental hospitals made them only appropriate as work places for lower-class women and women with dubious reputations. European nurses taught and supervised nursing and provided role models. After qualifying, nurses could spend a further two years studying midwifery which combined hospital and community experience. The nurses and midwives were deployed as intermediaries to spread the ideology of western care among the native population, who nevertheless continued to have an aversion to western medicine. The (student) midwives were distrusted because of their youth and unmarried status. Native women variously rejected or embraced such advice or accommodated it selectively. In the main they remained loyal to the indigenous healers, the dukun bayi.
Disease, conflict and nursing in the British Empire, 1880–1914
Transnational developments in biomedicine and technology together with broader social changes, not only reshaped disease prevention and healthcare policy, but facilitated mass migrations of people, creating new pathways for spreading disease, simultaneously helping form various conduits, including nursing, for the “new” medical knowledge required to combat this spread. Additionally, this period (1900-1914) was characterised by global crises, which provide important contexts for reappraising the history of nursing at local, national and transnational levels, while creating an important lens through which to study the changing profession. The geographical focus of this chapter is on three port cities: Cape Town, Melbourne and Hong Kong, selected as representing different types of colonial administration, and colonial histories, which naturally affected the implementation of healthcare systems. Traditional approaches to nursing’s history are enclavist in arguing that nursing practice, education and policy was established and solidified in the metropole before being exported to the colonies by British nurses. Consequently, professional nursing developed independently in each of the colonial outposts. The chapter argues that nursing practice is equally constituted on the peripheries of Empire, so that complex networks of nursing ideas existed within the British Empire, fuelled and expanded by mass migration of nurses.
Contextualising colonial and post-colonial nursing
Helen Sweet and Sue Hawkins
The introduction provides an overview of the book’s focus, structure and remit, outlining commonalities as well as differences between the experiences of colonial nurses discussed in the book. Drawing from their experience in researching and writing gender and racial social histories and in colonial and post-colonial nursing history respectively, the editors tease out emerging themes placing them within a clear chronological and historiographical framework. They examine how this field has developed in the history of medicine and identify questions which current research still leaves unanswered, but for which nursing’s history is uniquely placed. The chapters in this book reveal the presence (or absence) of underlying racial and cultural tensions between nurses and their patients, nurses and professional colleagues or their indigenous counterparts; and the editors question whether past histories have not been grossly oversimplified by projecting images of imperial collaboration/cooperation onto all forms of colonial nursing, by all countries, across a long timespan. We evaluate the difficulties of discussing and analysing the impact of colonial nursing from the indigenous population’s viewpoint to present balanced analyses, and explore different experiences of colonial/ post-colonial nursing over more than a century whilst considering the impact of peacetime or conflict on nurses and nursing.