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Title:“Essentially cyclonic:” Race, gender, and disaster in modern mauritius
Author(s):Rouphail, Robert M.
Director of Research:Brennan, James; Burton, Antoinette
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Brennan, James; Burton, Antoinette
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Barnes, Teresa; Wilson, Roderick; Allen, Richard
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):African History
Indian Ocean History
Environmental History
Abstract:“Essentially Cyclonic” argues that tropical cyclones were a constituent and proportional force for historical change in twentieth century Mauritius. Whether as moments of acute catastrophe and as specters of future destruction, this dissertation shows that landfalling storms, the months of reconstruction efforts that followed, and the policies meant to mitigate cyclones’ effects were moments and processes that shaped ideas about racial belonging, gendered personhood, and diasporic community. Drawing upon French, English, and Mauritian Creole-language sources ranging from meteorological and soil studies, to oral histories collected in Mauritius, popular newspapers, songs, and the papers of state bureaucracies, this dissertation shows that these storms transformed the lives of everyday Mauritians: they changed how small Indo-Mauritian agriculturalists planted sugar, where Afro-descendant Mauritians lived, and how the late-colonial state surveilled women’s bodies in response to Malthusian anxieties over population control and ecological stability.
Issue Date:2019-06-18
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Robert Rouphail
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-11-26
Date Deposited:2019-08

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