Race and empire

Eugenics in colonial Kenya

By Chloe Campbell

Race and empire


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7161-4
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £15.99
  • Published Date: August 2012
  • BIC Category: History, East Africa, Colonialism & imperialism, African history, HISTORY / Africa / East, Humanities / Colonialism & imperialism
  • Series: Studies in Imperialism


Race and empire tells the story of a short-lived but vehement eugenics movement that emerged among a group of Europeans in Kenya in the 1930s, unleashing a set of writings on racial differences in intelligence more extreme than that emanating from any other British colony in the twentieth century. The Kenyan eugenics movement of the 1930s adapted British ideas to the colonial environment: in all its extremity, Kenyan eugenics was not simply a bizarre and embarrassing colonial mutation, as it was later dismissed, but a logical extension of British eugenics in a colonial context. By tracing the history of eugenic thought in Kenya, the book shows how the movement took on a distinctive colonial character, driven by settler political preoccupations and reacting to increasingly outspoken African demands for better, and more independent, education. Through a close examination of attitudes towards race and intelligence in a British colony, Race and empire reveals how eugenics was central to colonial racial theories before World War Two.


No quotes
International Review of Social History. Vol.51 (2006), part 2


Chloe Campbell works in publishing


1. Nellie's Dance
2. British eugenics, race and empire
3. Kenyan medical discourse and eugenics
4. Metropolitan responses
5. Settler attitudes to eugenics and race
6. Biology, development and welfare
7. Conclusion: the decline of the eugenics empire

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