Arts & Culture

‘Race Science’ and Eugenics in Historical and Contemporary Context

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm | 22 July 2020
Online | Free

In this online discussion, Angela Saini, Professor Marius Turda and Dr Joe Mulhall will explore the history of ‘race science’ and eugenics, and its connections to nationalist, far-right and fascist politics in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

Pseudo-scientific ideas of race developed alongside and in support of European colonial projects in Asia and Africa, and manifested in eugenicist ideas about genetic ‘health’, ‘strength’, and ‘weakness’. Science – supposedly objective – gave an appearance of legitimacy to racist expressions of power. ‘Race science’ and eugenics influenced Nazi thinking and their policies of persecution and murder against Jews, Roma and the disabled.

Recently, re-emergent pseudo-scientific ideas about race and eugenics have had an impact on far-right and fascist movements. The speakers at this online event have conducted research into the history and current manifestation of racist and eugenist ideas, and into the history of fascism and its status in the 21st century. They will explore these complex issues in this virtual conversation.

The event will be LIVE streamed for the Library’s YouTube channel and will be shared again at a later date.

Register here

About the speakers:

Angela Saini is an independent British science journalist and author. Her latest book, Superior: The Return of Race Science, published in 2019 by 4th Estate and Beacon Press to widespread critical acclaim, was named a book of the year by the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Sunday Times and won the Transmission Prize. Saini presents radio and television programmes on the BBC and her writing has appeared in The Sunday Times, Nature, New Scientist, National Geographic and Wired. She has won a number of national and international journalism awards. Her two-part documentary series for BBC Four about the history and science of eugenics aired in autumn 2019, and was a ‘pick of the day’ in a number of national newspapers. Her previous book, Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong, was published in 2017 and has been translated into thirteen languages.

Purchase a copy of Superior: The Return of Race Science here.

Marius Turda is Director of the Centre for Medical Humanities. Originally from Maramures, Turda has been teaching at Oxford Brookes since 2005. He is the author, with Maria Sophia Quine, of Historicizing Race (2019) and in 2010 published Modernism and Eugenics. He is the founder-director of the Cantemir Institute at the University of Oxford (2012-2013) and founder of the Working Group on the History of Eugenics and Race (HRE), established in 2006. Between 2010 and 2014 he was Deputy Director, The Centre for Health, Medicine and Society. Turda is also Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and Fellow of the Galton Institute.

Purchase a copy of Modernism and Eugenics here.

Purchase a copy of Historicizing Race here.

Joe Mulhall is Senior Researcher at HOPE not hate, a group founded in 2004 to use research, education, advocacy and public engagement to challenge racism and fascism. Mulhall was formally a visiting lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London where he also completed his PhD on the post-war far-right. He has published extensively on the international far right and discussed his research on the BBC, CNN and Channel 4 News among others. He is the co-author of The International Alt-Right: Fascism for the 21st Century? (2020).

Purchase a copy of The International Alt-Right: Fascism for the 21st Century? here.

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