Catalogue


Madness and marginality : the lives of Kenya's white insane /
Will Jackson.
imprint
Manchester ; New York : Manchester University Press, 2013.
description
xii, 209 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0719088895 (hbk.), 9780719088896 (hbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
series title
imprint
Manchester ; New York : Manchester University Press, 2013.
isbn
0719088895 (hbk.)
9780719088896 (hbk.)
abstract
Based on over 250 psychiatric case files, this book traces the lives of Kenya's 'white insane' to focus not on the 'great white hunters' and heroic pioneer farmers but on those Europeans who did not manage to emulate the colonial ideal. In doing so, the book raises important new questions around deviance, transgression and social control.
catalogue key
8913693
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 185-205) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Will Jackson is Lecturer in Imperial History at the University of Leeds
Reviews
Review Quotes
With this insightful and sensitive analysis of Europeans incarcerated for mental illness in colonial Kenya, Will Jackson manages not only to reclaim these troubled, marginalized individuals as historically meaningful actors. He also casts a fresh and revealing light on the settler community as a whole. The result is a strikingly original and important contribution to the scholarship on settler colonialism.
The self-disciplined effort to sustain imperial prestige did not inevitably send Kenya's white settlers mad - just as the constraints of subjection did not necessarily madden Africans. But ordinary human weaknesses - financial, social, or sexual - did seem especially dangerous to an anxious white minority. The documented confinement of their 'poor men and loose women' has enabled Jackson, in this carefully observed and beautifully written study, to portray Kenya's settlers in the round. Not all were libidinous aristocrats swapping wives in Happy Valley, nor all gentleman farmers pioneering under the flame trees of Thika.
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Based on over two hundred and fifty psychiatric case files, this book offers a radical new departure from existing historical accounts of what is still commonly thought of as the most picturesque of Britain's colonies overseas. By tracing the life histories of Kenya's "white insane," the book allows for a new account of settler society: one that moves attention away from the "great white hunters" and heroic pioneer farmers to all those Europeans who did not manage to emulate the colonial ideal. In doing so, it raises important new questions around deviance, transgression and social control. Sitting at the intersection of a number of fields, the book will appeal to students and teachers of imperial history, colonial medicine, African history and postcolonial theory and will prove a valuable addition to both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
Main Description
Based on over two hundred and fifty psychiatric case files, this book offers a radical new departure from existing historical accounts of what is still commonly thought of as the most picturesque of Britain's colonies overseas. By tracing the life histories of Kenya's 'white insane', the book allows for a new account of settler society: one that moves attention away from the 'great white hunters' and heroic pioneer farmers to all those Europeans who did not manage to emulate the colonial ideal. In doing so, it raises important new questions around deviance, transgression and social control. Sitting at the intersection of a number of fields, the book will appeal to students and teachers of imperial history, colonial medicine, African history and postcolonial theory and will prove a valuable addition to both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
Long Description
Kenya Colony, for the British at least, has customarily been imagined as a place of wealthy settler-farmers, expansive panoramas and the adventure of safari. Yet for the majority of Europeans who went there life was very different. Based on over two hundred and fifty psychiatric case files this book offers an unprecedented new account of what was reputedly the most picturesque of Britain's colonies overseas. While Kenya's romantic reputation has served to perpetuate the idea that Europeans enjoyed untroubled command, what the lives of Kenya's white insane powerfully describe are stories of conflict, immiseration, estrangement and despair. Crucially, Europeans who became impoverished in Kenya or who transgressed the boundary lines separating colonizer from colonized subverted the myth that Europeans enjoyed a natural right to rule. Because a deviation from the settler ideal was politically problematic, therefore, Europeans who failed to conform to the collective self-image were customarily absented, from the colony itself in the first instance and latterly from both popular and scholarly historical accounts. Bringing into view the lives of Kenya's white insane makes for an imaginative and intellectual engagement with realms of human history that, so colonial ideologies would have us believe, simply were not there. Tracing the pathways that led an individual to the hospital gates, meanwhile, shows up the complex interplay between madness and marginality in a society for which deviance was never intended to be managed but comprehensively denied.
Long Description
Kenya Colony, for the British at least, has customarily been imagined as a place of wealthy settler-farmers, expansive panoramas and the adventure of safari. Yet for the majority of Europeans who went there life was very different. Based on over two hundred and fifty psychiatric case files, this book offers an unprecedented new account of the social history of reputedly Britain's most picturesque overseas colony. While Kenya's romantic reputation has served to perpetuate the idea that Europeans enjoyed untroubled command, this volume illustrates powerful stories of conflict, immiseration, estrangement and despair. Europeans who became impoverished in Kenya or who transgressed the boundary lines separating coloniser from colonised subverted the myth that Europeans enjoyed a natural right to rule. Any deviation from the settler ideal was politically problematic, and Europeans who failed to conform to the collective self-image were absented, from the colony itself in the first instance and latterly from both popular and scholarly historical accounts. This book brings into view the hardships of Kenya's white insane and makes for an imaginative and intellectual engagement with realms of human history that were previously suppressed by colonial ideologies. By tracing the pathways that led an individual to the hospital gates, it shows the complex interplay between madness and marginality in a society for which deviance was never intended to be managed but comprehensively denied.
Table of Contents
General Editor's introductionp. ix
Acknowledgementsp. xi
Note on termsp. xii
Introductionp. 1
Approaching madness: deviant psychology in Kenya Colonyp. 23
'No ordinary chaps': class, gender and the licensing of transgressionp. 45
The lives of Kenya's white insanep. 80
Battered wives and broken homes: the colonial familyp. 106
Stigma, shame and scandal: sex and mental illnessp. 129
States of emergency: psychosis and transgressionp. 150
Conclusionp. 172
Appendicesp. 180
Bibliographyp. 185
Indexp. 207
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem