Botanic gardens as instruments of colonial state-making: the case of Amani and Victoria, 1880s-1920s
Colonialism has been analyzed as a communal project carried out by the state as well as economic and scientific actors. However, the interconnections between colonized areas have rarely been examined. This postdoctoral project centers on the interrelations between the botanic research stations in Amani (German East Africa) and Victoria (German Cameroons) and their respective financiers, attachés and advocates in the German Reich at the turn of the 19th century. It aims to show how the stations were entangled with the colonial plantation economy of the German settlers and meant to advance German colonial state-making. Based on new source material – particularly travelogues and correspondence by the stations‘ directors, gardeners and visiting researchers – the project contributes to global history, the history of labour and the history of knowledge. The resulting monograph will shed light on botanic knowledge production in times of new imperialism, modern capitalism and modern racism.