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Pasteur's Empire - French Expertise, Colonialism, and Transnational Science

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 PE-FECATS project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the PE-FECATS project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "PE-FECATS" about.

inequalities    realm    trials    global    conversely    french    yellow    industries    colonies    science    opium    centralized    scientists    shore    space    discourse    empire    rendered    bacteriological    experimentation    bacteriologists    pasteur    vaccines    criticizing    restricting    biotechnological    technoscience    imposing    examples    politics    leverage    data    techniques    reimagined    tuberculosis    time    century    language    rational    limited    vietnamese    enrolled    framework    lens    clinical    secondly    alcohol    association    power    provides    history    point    technologies    tunisia    human    scholars    transnational    failures    medical    firstly    colonial    activists    investigates    integrating    fermentation    labor    west    outsourcing    showing    political    legible    practical    shape    containment    indochina    subjects    metropolitan    fever    plague    twentieth    african    rights    politicoeconomic    reforms    actors    push    empowered    administrators    epidemiological    maneuver    hands    vaccination    turned    claiming    spaces    infrastructure    opening    interacted    africa    construction    obstacles    laboratory    resistance    progress   

Project "PE-FECATS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: OXFORD
postcode: OX1 2JD

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 183˙454 €
 EC max contribution 183˙454 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2016
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-07-01   to  2019-06-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

This project investigates how bacteriologists at the Pasteur Institute reimagined the French empire as a biotechnological space of experimentation in the early twentieth century, and conversely, how medical technologies developed in French colonies in Indochina, West Africa and Tunisia were enrolled to both shore up and challenge colonial power.

Scholars are increasingly interested in how global inequalities shape medical development i.e through the outsourcing of clinical trials. Yet most work has focused on the role of politicoeconomic inequalities. This project firstly investigates how the framework of empire interacted with the construction of colonial technoscience - new epidemiological data, laboratory infrastructure - that rendered French colonies legible as spaces of medical experimentation. Scientists turned the colonies into resources they could use to maneuver around metropolitan obstacles such as resistance to large-scale human trials of new vaccines, and push their projects further.

Secondly, this project focuses on plague containment, alcohol and opium fermentation, and tuberculosis and yellow fever vaccination, showing how these projects empowered French, Vietnamese and African actors in the realm of politics. French colonial administrators used vaccines and fermentation techniques as examples of rational French progress, imposing reforms that limited labor rights, centralized major industries in French hands, and restricting rights of association for colonial subjects. At the same time, Vietnamese and African activists could leverage the discourse of progress to point to the practical failures of bacteriological technologies, opening up a new language for claiming rights and criticizing the empire.

By integrating transnational history with science and technology studies, this project provides a new lens for studying the history of empire and understanding the political consequences of medical development.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2020 Aro Velmet
In the Image of Pasteur: Capitalism, Empire and the Scientific Ethos in French Microbiology, 1890-1940
published pages: , ISSN: 0016-1071, DOI:
French Historical Studies four issues per year 2019-09-05
2019 Aro Velmet
The making of a Pastorian empire: tuberculosis and bacteriological technopolitics in French colonialism and international science, 1890–1940
published pages: 199-217, ISSN: 1740-0228, DOI: 10.1017/s1740022819000032
Journal of Global History 14/2 2019-09-05
2020 Aro Velmet
Pasteur\'s Empire: Bacteriology and Politics in France, its Empire, and the World
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
2019 Aro Velmet
Sovereignty after Gender Trouble: Language, Reproduction, and Supranationalism in Estonia, 1980–2017
published pages: 455-478, ISSN: 1086-3222, DOI: 10.1353/jhi.2019.0027
Journal of the History of Ideas 80/3 2019-09-05
2020 Aro Velmet
The Blank Slate E-State: Estonian Information Society and the Politics of Novelty in the 1990s
published pages: , ISSN: 2413-8053, DOI:
Engaging Science, Technology, and Society 2019-09-05

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