The colonial emergence of a statistical imaginary

Shellam, Tiffany and Rowse, Tim 2013, The colonial emergence of a statistical imaginary, Comparative studies in society and history, vol. 55, no. 4, pp. 922-954, doi: 10.1017/S0010417513000467.

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Title The colonial emergence of a statistical imaginary
Author(s) Shellam, TiffanyORCID iD for Shellam, Tiffany
Rowse, Tim
Journal name Comparative studies in society and history
Volume number 55
Issue number 4
Start page 922
End page 954
Total pages 33
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Place of publication Cambridge, England
Publication date 2013-09-19
ISSN 0010-4175
Notes Intellectual networks linking humanitarians in Britain, Western Australia, and New Zealand in the 1850s and 1860s operationalized the concept of native “protection” by arguing contra demographic pessimists that native peoples could survive if their adaptation was thoughtfully managed. While the population-measurement capacities of the colonial governments of Western Australia and New Zealand were still weak, missionaries pioneered the gathering of the data that enabled humanitarians to objectify natives as populations. This paper focuses on Francis Dart Fenton (in New Zealand), Florence Nightingale (in Britain), and Rosendo Salvado (in Western Australia) in the 1850s and 1860s. Their belief in the necessity of population statistics manifests the practical convergence of colonial humanitarianism with public health perspectives and with “the statistical movement” that had become influential in Britain in the 1830s. We draw attention to the materialism and environmentalism of these three quantifiers of natives, and to how native peoples were represented as governable through knowledge of their physical needs and vulnerabilities.
Language eng
DOI 10.1017/S0010417513000467
Field of Research 210301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History
210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Socio Economic Objective 950503 Understanding Australia's Past
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2013, Cambridge University Press
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Created: Mon, 30 Sep 2013, 12:55:45 EST by Tiffany Shellam

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