Posted on 21 March 2017
CGHH PhD student Sarah Hartley’s article ‘Interweaving Ideas and Patchwork programmes: Nutrition Projects in Colonial Fiji, 1945-60’ has just been published by Medical History (61:2, 2017). The article draws from Sarah’s broader research project on the racial politics of maternal and child health in post-war Fiji.
Sarah’s article brings to light the influence of a range of actors in nutrition projects in the South Pacific during the period after the Second World War. These included international trends in nutritional science, changing ideas within the British establishment about state responsibility for the welfare of its citizens and the responsibility of the British Empire for its subjects. It also explores the mixture of outside scrutiny and support for projects from post-war international and multi-governmental organisations, such as the South Pacific Commission. Nutrition research and projects conducted in Fiji for the colonial South Pacific Health Service and the colonial government also sought to address territory-specific socio-political issues, especially Fiji’s complex ethnic politics. Sarah’s study examines the subtle ways in which nutrition studies and policies reflected and reinforced these wider socio-political trends. She suggests that historians should approach health research and policy as a patchwork of territorial, international, and regional ideas and priorities, rather than looking for a single causality.
You can access and download this Open Access Article via Medical History’s web page. Find out more about Sarah’s research and other research projects at CGHH via the Centre’s website.
This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation, which supports scientists and researchers to take on big problems, fuel imaginations, and spark debate.
Medical History is a refereed journal devoted to all aspects of the history of medicine, health and related sciences, with the goal of broadening and deepening the understanding of the field, in the widest sense, by historical studies of the highest quality. It is associated with the European Association for the History of Medicine and Health, the Asian Society for the History of Medicine, and the World Health Organization's Global Health Histories initiative.