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- DescriptionIn A Nervous State, Nancy Rose Hunt considers the afterlives of violence and harm in King Leopold's Congo Free State. Discarding catastrophe as narrative form, she instead brings alive a history of colonial nervousness. This mood suffused medical investigations, security operations, and vernacular healing movements. With a heuristic of two colonial states-one nervous, one biopolitical-the analysis alternates between medical research into birthrates, gorrhea, and childlessness and the securitization of subaltern therapeutic insurgencies. By the time of Belgian Congo's famed postwar developmentalist schemes, a shining infertility clinic stood near a bleak penal colony, both sited where a torious Leopoldian rubber company once enabled rape and mutilation. Hunt's history bursts with layers of perceptibility and song, conveying everyday surfaces and daydreams of subalterns and colonials alike. Congolese endured and evaded forced labor and medical and security screening. Quick-witted, they stirred unease through healing, wonder, memory, and dance. This capacious medical history sheds light on Congolese sexual and musical ecomies, on practices of distraction, urbanity, and hedonism. Drawing on theoretical concepts from Georges Canguilhem, Georges Balandier, and Gaston Bachelard, Hunt provides a bold new framework for teasing out the complexities of colonial history.
- Author BiographyNancy Rose Hunt is Professor of History at the University of Michigan, and the author of the prizewinning A Colonial Lexicon: Of Birth Ritual, Medicalization, and Mobility in the Congo, also published by Duke University Press.
- Author(s)Nancy Rose Hunt
- PublisherDuke University Press
- Date of Publication08/01/2016
- SubjectRegional History
- Place of PublicationNorth Carolina
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintDuke University Press
- Content Note41 illustrations
- Weight522 g
- Width152 mm
- Height226 mm
- Spine20 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
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