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Title: Women and childbirth in Haile Selassie's Ethiopia
Author: Weis, Julianne Rose
ISNI:       0000 0004 5354 3850
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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As the first analytic history of Ethiopian medicine, this thesis explores the interchange between the institutional development of a national medical network and the lived experiences of women as patients and practitioners of medicine from the years 1940-1975. Using birth and gender as mechanisms to explore the nation's public health history allows me to pursue alternative threads of enquiry: I ask questions not only about state activities and policy pursuits, but also about the relevance and acceptance of those actions in the lives of the citizenry. This thesis is also the first medical history of a non-colonial African country, opening up new questions about the role of non-Western actors in the expansion of Western medicine in the twentieth century. I explore the ways in which the exceptional history of Ethiopia can be couched in existing narratives of African modernity, medicine, and birth history. Issues of local agency and the creation of new social elites in the pursuit of modernity are all pertinent to the case of Ethiopia. Through both extensive archival research and oral interviews of nearly 200 participants in Haile Selassie's medical campaigns, I argue that the extent to which the imperial medical project in Ethiopia 'succeeded' was highly predicated on pre-existing conditions of gender, class, and geography.
Supervisor: Mahone, Sloan Sponsor: Wellcome Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History of Africa ; History of medicine ; childbirth ; gender ; women ; Ethiopia ; history of public health ; preventive medicine