Friday, 3 March 2017 — 12:00 noon — WAG 316

Daniel Jean-Jacques, UT

“Scientific Networks and Legal Truths: Authenticating Knowledge through Forensic Authorities in Late Colonial Southwestern Nigeria”

Daniel Jean-Jacques’s research attempts to apply the methodological principles of the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge, as well as Bruno Latour’s model of expanding networks of scientific authority, to the case of forensic science in the southwest of late colonial Nigeria. Primarily through an analysis of murder trial proceedings and related documentation, Jean-Jacques attempts to assess the efficacy of such an approach to this specific historical place and moment. As late colonial Nigeria was the site of profound political, economic, and epistemological confrontations, the author hopes that this project will ultimately speak to how scientific and biomedical ideas interact with rival systems of knowledge, and to how science and biomedicine are utilized in exercising authority over individuals and bodies, both living and dead.


Daniel Jean-Jacques is a graduate student in the UT History Department. His area of interest is the history of science in Africa, and his current research centers on forensic science in late colonial Nigeria. Previously, he received his master’s degree in history from the University of Central Florida, where his thesis work explored the historical origins of Somali piracy.