A Nervous State: Violence, Remedies, and Reverie in Colonial Congo
Nancy Rose Hunt is Professor of History at the University of Michigan, and the author of the prizewinning A Colonial Lexicon: Of Birth Ritual, Medicalization, and Mobility in the Congo, also published by Duke University Press.
Conclusion: Field Coda and Other Endings
Nervousness, not a European characteristic alone, was basic to the vernacular. The conclusion returns to evidence on gender and thinks through the implications for HIV findings and African and medical history. It underlines interpretive techniques for new historical and anthropological writing about global health and colonial medicine. Interjecting fresh field evidence, it considers the book’s layers of violence and harm; the therapeutic, insurgent, and hedonistic in this “shrunken milieu” with intricate healing, fast, infectious modern dance music, practices of joy, and eviction reverie; degenerationist and psychiatric scientific idioms; a template of nervous, expulsive healing; and sexual economies and bodily practices pertinent to hypothesizing about HIV in equatorial Africa.