HPI134 | Autumn | 6 ECTS

Global History of Science: Colonial Encounters and Beyond

This course provides an introduction to the history of science by focusing on modern science's complex relationship with colonial rule. While the colonies served as a 'living laboratory' (Helen Tilley) during European expansion, the local and vernacular forms of knowledge European scientists encountered had repercussions on European self-understandings of science. The course examines a wide range of historical and anthropological materials and methods in order to retrace the everyday workings of different scientific disciplines in colonial contexts. Special attention will be paid to the disciplines of anthropology and medicine as well as to disease control in global pandemics. During the 'scientization' of colonialism in the twentieth century new international health institutions emerged which, in turn, had effects on the historical process of decolonization.