Nature's Colony: Empire, Nation And Environment In The Singapore Botanic Gardens by Timothy P. BarnardNature's Colony: Empire, Nation And Environment In The Singapore Botanic Gardens by Timothy P. Barnard

Nature's Colony: Empire, Nation And Environment In The Singapore Botanic Gardens

byTimothy P. Barnard

Paperback | February 15, 2017

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Established in 1859, the Singapore Botanic Gardens are arguably the most important colonial botanic gardens in the world. Not only have the Gardens been important as a park for Singaporeans and visitors, they have had a significant role as a scientific institution and as a testing ground for tropical plantation agriculture implemented around the world. As Timothy P. Barnard shows in Nature’s Colony, underlying each of these uses is a broader story of the Botanic Gardens as an arena where power and the natural world meet and interact.
 
Initially conceived to exploit nature for the benefit of empire, the Gardens were part of a symbolic struggle by administrators, scientists, and gardeners to assert dominance within Southeast Asia’s tropical landscape, reflecting shifting understandings of power, science, and nature among local administrators and distant mentors in Britain. Consequently, as an outpost of imperial science, the Gardens were instrumental in the development of plantation crops, such as rubber and oil palm, which went on to shape landscapes across the globe. Since the independence of Singapore, the Gardens have played a role in the “greening” of the country and have been named as Singapore’s first World Heritage Site. Setting the Gardens alongside the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and botanic gardens in India, Ceylon, Mauritius, and the West Indies, Nature’s Colony provide the first in-depth look at the history of this influential institution.
 
Timothy P. Barnard is associate professor in the Department of History at the National University of Singapore. His books include Nature Contained: Environmental Histories of Singapore and Contesting Malayness: Malay Identity Across Boundaries, both also published by the National University of Singapore Press.  
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Title:Nature's Colony: Empire, Nation And Environment In The Singapore Botanic GardensFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:February 15, 2017Publisher:NUS Press Pte LtdLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:9814722227

ISBN - 13:9789814722223

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Chapter 1: Nature’s Colony
Chapter 2: Creating a Garden
Chapter 3: Conservation and Forests
Chapter 4: A Zoo in the Gardens
Chapter 5: The Economic Garden
Chapter 6: Hortus Singapurensis
Chapter 7: Improving on Nature in the Laboratory
Chapter 8: The Gardens in a Garden City
 
Bibliography
Index
 

Editorial Reviews

Barnard’s recounting of the complex history of the Singapore Botanic Gardens and its shifting priorities and agendas over time provide a window onto the transformation of a colonial port into a 21st-century botanical garden and research institution and Singapore’s first World Heritage Site.