By Saul Dubow
A Commonwealth of information addresses the connection among social and medical idea, colonial identification, and political energy in 19th- and twentieth-century South Africa. It hinges at the rigidity among colonial wisdom, conceived of as a common, modernizing strength, and its recognition within the context of a society divided alongside advanced ethnic and racial fault-lines. through certain research of colonial cultures, literary and clinical associations, and specialist historic pondering South Africa and its peoples, it demonstrates the ways that the cultivation of data has served to aid white political ascendancy and claims to nationhood. In a sustained remark on smooth South African historiography, the importance of 'broad' South Africanism - a political culture designed to go beyond transformations among white English- and Afrikaans-speakers - is emphasised. A Commonwealth of data additionally engages with wider comparative debates.These comprise the character of imperial and colonial wisdom structures; the position of highbrow principles and ideas in constituting ethnic, racial, and local identities; the dissemination of rules among imperial metropole and colonial outer edge; the emergence of beginner highbrow groups; and the come across among imperial and indigenous or neighborhood wisdom structures. The ebook has large scope. It opens with a dialogue of civic associations (eg. museums, libraries, botanical gardens and clinical societies), and assesses their position in making a detailed feel of Cape colonial identification; the booklet is going directly to speak about the ways that medical and different kinds of information contributed to the improvement of a capacious South Africanist patriotism suitable with endured club of the British Commonwealth; it concludes with reflections at the techno-nationalism of the apartheid nation and situates modern issues just like the 'African Renaissance', and responses to HIV/AIDS, in wide ancient context.
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Additional info for A Commonwealth of Knowledge: Science, Sensibility, and White South Africa 1820-2000
1828); and the Cape of Good Hope Agricultural Society (est. 1831). ⁶⁹ In its ﬁrst years the Library was funded by an ingenious ﬁscal arrangement that exempliﬁed the higher virtues of trade: a tax of one rix dollar on every cask of wine, brandy, and vinegar brought into Cape Town. The core of the Library’s holdings was the impressive private collection of over 4,500 books assembled by the eighteenth-century German settler, Dutch East India Company ofﬁcial, gentleman antiquarian, and private trader Joachim Nicholas von Dessin.
Cape Town, 91, estimate that more than three-quarters of Cape Town civil servants were from Dutch families in 1820. ¹⁷ A sympathetic biography of Somerset is provided by Millar in his Plantagenet in South Africa, but the general effect is to conﬁrm rather than reverse the tenor of Somerset’s critics. Recent literature is inclined to focus less on Somerset’s personal failings and to locate him more as a victim of changing circumstance and as a symbol of a passing age. ¹⁸ These fears were not altogether misplaced.
Fairbairn’s brand of liberalism was primarily concerned with securing political, economic, and institutional freedoms for the middle classes in the face of imperial despotism; the mix of humanitarian, philanthropic, and egalitarian ideals that ⁴⁰ Keegan, Colonial South Africa, 98, 99. ⁴¹ On Fairbairn’s changing views and the tensions within and between evangelical, humanitarian, and ‘political economy’ liberalism, see A. Bank, ‘Liberals and their Enemies’; also A. Bank, ‘Losing Faith in the Civilising Mission: The Premature Decline of Humanitarian Liberalism at the Cape, 1840–60’, in M.
A Commonwealth of Knowledge: Science, Sensibility, and White South Africa 1820-2000 by Saul Dubow