Presentations (Communicative Events)

Cholera and Colonialism in Central Asia: The Tashkent Riot of 1892

Sahadeo, Jeff

A cholera epidemic that swept through Central Asia in 1892 transformed visions and practices of empire in Tashkent. Tsarist officials hoped that recent medical advances would allow their new imperial possession to halt the disease‘s spread to Europe from Asia. Success would restore a sense of Russian scientific and medical dominance, shaken by the local population‘s superiority in curing water-borne diseases. Execution of anticholera measures, however, altered a colonial relationship, provoking unrest among the local population. Russian settlers joined soldiers in brutally repressing a cholera riot sparked by numerous attacks on Central Asian culture. The aftermath of the riot altered images and relationships of class as well as race, and marked the end of Russian efforts, and tsarist confidence, to attack the cholera bacterium in Islamic portions of Central Asia, as part of their "civilizing mission."

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Global Health Research Center of Central Asia
Columbia University
Published Here
October 3, 2011


First Annual Conference, Culture, Religion, and Communications Unit of the Global Health Research Center of Central Asia, "Healing Paradigms and the Politics of Health in Central Asia," Columbia University, April 8, 2011.