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Visions of Colonial Nairobi: William Simpson, Health, Segregation and the Problems of Ordering a Plural Society, 1907–1921

Greenwood, Anna; Topiwala, H.

Authors

H. Topiwala



Abstract

The 1915 Simpson Report made public health recommendations for Nairobi that were heralded as ground-breaking. Of particular interest to the colonial authorities was Professor Simpson’s suggestion to racially segregate Nairobi to prevent diseases said to emanate from its Indian bazaar. Rather than being novel, this article shows that these recommendations were typical of enthusiasm for segregation in other parts of Empire, as well as being in line with earlier health reform proposals for Nairobi. Furthermore, although public health justified racially discriminatory practices for European ends, this was not a predictable story of Indians uniting against segregation and Europeans campaigning for it. Indeed, the debates stimulated by Simpson reveal some disunity amongst Kenyan Indians. Additionally, when segregation plans were dropped in 1921 Indians continued to live in their own sub-communities in Nairobi, indicating that opposition to segregation was as much a symbolic political battle than a cultural necessity.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Aug 28, 2018
Journal Social History of Medicine
Print ISSN 0951-631X
Electronic ISSN 1477-4666
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 33
Issue 1
Pages 57–78
APA6 Citation Greenwood, A., & Topiwala, H. (2018). Visions of Colonial Nairobi: William Simpson, Health, Segregation and the Problems of Ordering a Plural Society, 1907–1921. Social History of Medicine, 33(1), 57–78. https://doi.org/10.1093/shm/hky060
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/shm/hky060
Keywords Simpson; Segregation; Indians; Public health; Nairobi
Publisher URL https://academic.oup.com/shm/advance-article/doi/10.1093/shm/hky060/5086134
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Social History of Medicine following peer review. The version of record Anna Greenwood, Harshad Topiwala; Visions of Colonial Nairobi: William Simpson, Health, Segregation and the Problems of Ordering a Plural Society, 1907–1921, is available online at: https://academic.oup.co...1093/shm/hky060/5086134

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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