Go to AfricaBib home

Go to AfricaBib home AfricaBib Go to database home

bibliographic database
Previous page New search

The free AfricaBib App for Android is available here

Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Contested Ground: Colonial Narratives and the Kenyan Environment, 1920-1945
Author:MacKenzie, A. Fiona D.
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic terms:Kenya
Great Britain
History and Exploration
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/2637567
Abstract:This article examines colonial narratives about agriculture and the environment in Kenya during the 25 years between 1920 and 1945. This period saw growing State dependence on African agricultural production and growing evidence of the environmental costs of policies to expand such production. In particular, the article demonstrates how the construction of agricultural and ecological knowledge became both the legitimating metaphor for an intensification of administrative intervention in the Kikuyu Reserves and the site of contestation among agricultural officials. The focus is on Murang'a District, then Fort Hall, one of three districts comprising the Kikuyu Reserves. The article shows that the creation of colonial agricultural and environmental knowledge - through narratives of betterment and environmentalism - was an integral part of the exercise of State power. It also shows that the Kikuyu woman farmer, responsible for the production of seasonal crops which formed the basis of the diet, did not fit the 'natural' order of empire. The recasting of the gender of the Kikuyu farmer was, through the discourse of betterment, integrally linked to the reconstruction of agricultural knowledge. Notes, ref., sum.