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Punch and the Armenian massacres of 1894–1896
Leslie Rogne Schumacher

‘Outrage and imperialism’ explores the response of Punch to the Armenian massacres of 1894–1896. The high moral position taken against the Ottomans – and the advocacy of British and pan-European intervention to defend the Armenians – is evident in the work of Sir John Tenniel and his junior cartoonist Linley Sambourne. Characterisations of the Sultan or a generic Turkish figure were complemented by depictions of a despicable hyena. A more darkly humorous take on the situation was offered by E. T. Reed. In observing Punch’s reactions, questions are prompted about the ways in which the west has absorbed and reformulated eastern issues for its own purposes. Punch and its readers responded with a mixture of indignation, confusion, anger, and equivocality. In a culture dominated by Orientalist fictions and tropes, Britons’ understanding of the nature of Muslim–Christian relations in the Ottoman Empire was opaque at best. And criticism of Ottoman imperialism was never permitted to interfere with attitudes towards its British counterpoint.

in Comic empires
Andrekos Varnava and Casey Raeside

This chapter examines the way the cartoonists of Punch engaged with the unfolding crisis in Cyprus in a period of immense change – both for the British Empire, post-Suez, and for the magazine itself (the innovative Malcolm Muggeridge resigning as editor and handing over to the more moderate Bernard Hollowood in 1957). By focusing on six Punch cartoons that dealt with aspects of the Cyprus ‘emergency’, the authors show that although Punch had not lost its sense of humour, it had reduced in its acerbic and radical capacity for critical thinking. It also shows how individual cartoon comment – by Michael Cummings, Norman Mansbridge, and Ronald Searle, as well as Mervyn Wilson – could confound the editorial line of the magazine, and level criticism at the Conservative governments of Eden and Macmillan, as well as critiquing the Cypriot side.

in Comic empires
The iconography of Anglo-American inter-imperialism
Stephen Tuffnell

This chapter argues that American graphic artists refigured the visual language of Anglo-American relations into a versatile and adaptable imagery for understanding the United States’ place in world affairs, and its newfound status as an empire among empires. This imagery of Anglo-American imperial reciprocity competed with the better-known, and versatile visual culture of American Anglophobia in the late nineteenth century. Anglophobia provided a flexible framework into which American politicians and commentators could position complex political problems, ignite electoral passions, and rally support for foreign policy objectives. As the growth of the US economy accelerated in the Gilded Age, John Bull and Uncle Sam appeared frequently as industrial and commercial competitors. In the imagery of economic nationalism, John Bull was imagined as being crowded out of world markets; defeated by a wealthy and assertive Uncle Sam, in the industries at which he traditionally excelled. However, united by imperial warfare, colonial insurgencies, and nervousness over the future of world politics, John Bull and Uncle Sam were also reformulated as partners in the quest for global leadership. The iconography of inter-imperialism celebrated shared cultural and social interconnections and featured new hybrid symbols of Anglo-American global leadership.

in Comic empires
Open Access (free)
The Colonial Medical Service in British Africa
Editor: Anna Greenwood

A collection of essays about the Colonial Medical Service of Africa in which a group of distinguished colonial historians illustrate the diversity and active collaborations to be found in the untidy reality of government medical provision. The authors present important case studies in a series of essays covering former British colonial dependencies in Africa, including Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zanzibar. These studies reveal many new insights into the enactments of colonial policy and the ways in which colonial doctors negotiated the day-to-day reality during the height of Imperial rule in Africa. The book provides essential reading for scholars and students of colonial history, medical history and colonial administration.

Anna Greenwood

The Zanzibar Maternity Association (ZMA) was a charitable organisation established in 1918 to help Zanzibari women during parturition. Majority funding came from the Arab and Indian communities who, correspondingly, had considerable say in the organisation’s remit and agenda. Although the colonial British government had no alternative maternity service of their own on Zanzibar, this chapter shows how anxious the colonial government was about ZMA activities and influence during the 1930s and 1940s. Struggles over ZMA control are positioned as revealing of broader anxieties over the erosion of colonial hegemony and also as demonstrative of the highly flexible way the British constructed racialised discourses about health and hygiene. Ultimately, the British rejected cooperation when it was not precisely on the terms that they wanted.

in Beyond the state
Missions, the colonial state and constructing a health system in colonial Tanganyika
Michael Jennings

Histories of colonial medicine in sub-Saharan Africa have tended to focus on the role of the colonial state in establishing and running health systems. Where voluntary agency roles have been considered, it has presented them as operating outside that system, independent and isolated. This chapter explores how voluntary (mission) sector health service providers interacted with the colonial state in creating a health system in Tanganyika characterised by its public-private hybridity. Mission health providers were formally made part of the country’s health system, a process that led to the creation of a distinct ‘voluntary sector’ which continued to shape non-state action in social development and welfare after independence. The colonial state relied upon voluntary sector engagement to meet (however partially) its obligations in health care provision; and the missions saw their incorporation into the official health system as an opportunity to exercise greater power in helping to shape health policy and direction, as well as a means to ensure their primacy as non-state voluntary actors.

in Beyond the state
Open Access (free)
Medical missionaries and government service in Uganda, 1897–1940
Yolana Pringle

This chapter examines collaborations between mission and government doctors in colonial Uganda. Drawing on records from the Church Missionary Society and Uganda's District Archives, it considers the everyday dealings between mission doctors and the colonial government at Mengo Hospital, the formal co-opting of mission doctors into government service in the 1920s, and the changing nature of medical work in Uganda from the 1930s. It argues that the relationship between 'missionary' and 'government' medical work was never clearly defined, and that missionaries and colonial administrators reacted to local circumstances, formulating guidelines in a largely ad hoc manner. It suggests that the complexity of the relationship between mission and government doctors means that neither missionary nor colonial medicine should be considered in isolation.

in Beyond the state
Matthew M. Heaton

This chapter examines the role that Elder Dempster played in transporting so-called ‘lunatics’ between the United Kingdom and British West African colonies in the first half of the twentieth century. Many Europeans inhabiting the colonies and many more colonial subjects traveling abroad in the UK and other West African territories succumbed to mental illnesses while far from home. When this occurred and the patient was deemed likely to benefit from repatriation, Elder Dempster was typically the agent charged with providing transport. As such, Elder Dempster frequently had to negotiate with the Colonial Office about the practicalities of transporting lunatics. The cost of transport and who was to pay, the types of accommodations necessary for mentally ill passengers, and considerations of liability all had to be orchestrated to the satisfaction of the commercial shipping giant. This chapter argues that the relationship between Elder Dempster and the British government represents an example of the importance of public-private cooperation in the maintenance of the medical geography of Empire, even as it reveals significant tensions underlying such cooperation. In so doing, it helps to move the historical study of psychiatry in colonial Africa into a broader engagement with its international, transnational and commercial influences.

in Beyond the state
Crucial collaboration, hidden conflicts
Markku Hokkanen

This chapter deals with relations between the colonial medical service and major British missions in early colonial Malawi (c. 1891–1940). It focuses on the networks that connected missions with the medical service and co-operation between the two in information sharing, public health campaigns and the medical training of African staff. Then, the chapter analyses conflicts between missionaries and the colonial state, contests over authority and critiques of policy and practice. Co-operation between the British missions and the colonial medical service in Malawi was extensive and mutually beneficial, but there were also important areas of conflict and contestation. These clashes were kept mostly private, as both sides attempted to present a united front as medical collaborators. However, Western medicine in colonial Malawi was not monolithic or marked by simple dualism between state and missions. Medical practice, practitioners, knowledge and materials were constituted, transferred and connected in complex imperial networks that included Medical Officers, missionary physicians and various medical middles.

in Beyond the state
Open Access (free)
Looking beyond the state
Anna Greenwood

This chapter auto-critiques the editors early work (Crozier, Practising Colonial Medicine, 2007) for studying the Colonial Medical Service as a distinct entity, founded and run on shared principles, staffed by Europeans and micro-managed from Whitehall. The collection of chapters is introduced, particularly emphasising how each essay originally contributes to revising this flawed interpretation. The Colonial Medical Service is argued as being flexibly responsive to local demands, open to negotiation and cooperation with non-governmental partners, and very much different in reality to the unified image that is often assumed. Theoretically this dramatically pushes forward understandings of the history of government medicine in Africa, not least showing scholars that history is always on the move and can be rarely compartmentalised, despite the active public relations agenda of the British colonial government.

in Beyond the state