'Lands of Opportunity: (Post)Colonial Networks and the Dark Continents of Diabetes'
My previous research - performed for my MA dissertation - examined the legacy of colonialism on British biomedical science as it operated across the former Empire. Using British supported investigations of diabetes mellitus in colonial and post-colonial territories as a case study, I explored the material and conceptual longue durée of British overseas research structures. I argued that the networks of institutions, personnel and funding that supported diabetes research in these territories during the colonial period came through the processes of decolonization relatively unscathed, and lasted well into the 1980s. This institutional stability, I suggested, both produced, and was produced by, a conceptual apparatus in which British-supported researchers constructed postcolonial bodies as racialized opportunities for useful knowledge construction. In tracing these continuities, I sought to contribute to the growing field of the history of postcolonial medicine in two ways. Firstly, by suggesting that moving the historical gaze to forms of biomedical activity besides healthcare and international public health might reveal a different perspective on medicine in colonial and postcolonial territories than that deployed at present. Secondly, following Roberta Bivins, by proposing that Britain might itself be a site of postcolonialism that deserves scholarly attention.
I have recently rewritten this piece and submitted it for publication.