lecnotes_02_26 - 21A.240 Race and Science Spring 2004 MIT...

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21A.240 Race and Science Spring 2004 MIT PART 1: THE ALCHEMY OF RACE: MAKING AND UNMAKING SCIENTIFIC RACISM Lecture 4. February 26 In three weeks, PAPER # 1 is DUE. Let me give you a sense of how to think about it. I write on the syllabus: Students will write three 7-page papers, choosing from a selection of topics to be provided by the instructor for each paper. What kinds of topics will those be? Let me give you a sense of what these might be like — just so you can start to tune in. I’ll provide the real topics next time. 1. Explain the place of sex, gender, and reproduction in two eugenic movements/moments documented by Kevles. 2. Discuss similarities and differences between Boas and Du Bois on matters of race classification and science. Consider contexts of immigration, segregation, and health. 3. Compare and contrast notions of racial hygiene in Brazilian and Nazi/German eugenics. Be sure to discuss the place of the “nation” in each case. 4. Use Bowker and Star’s ideas about Aristotelian and prototypical classification to examine the workings of race for Blumenbach, Boas, and Gould. Germ Plasm: American and British Eugenics Kevles, Daniel J. 1995. In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, chapters I-IX, XI-XIII (pp. 3-147, 164-211). This is a big book with lots of history, taking us from early social Darwinism through mid-20th century population genetics. Some of this later stuff I had you read won’t be directly relevant to today, but sets the stage for later history we’ll do in this class. Anyway, we need to think about how to make all of this history manageable for discussion. So, I have a plan — one which will get us through the different positions enunciated in the history of eugenics, allow us to theorize some the history we’ve read about, and also allow you to get to know each other some more. Divide into three groups: Galton-Pearson-Davenport chapters 1-3 Gospel becomes Popular-Eugenic Enactments chapters 4-7 False Biology, A Reform Eugenics-Brave New Biology chapters 9, 11-12
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**** I would like each group to consider the following questions collectively. What I’ll do is give you about 20 minutes to discuss these amongst yourself. At the end of that time, we’ll hear a summary from each group. These should be about 15 minutes or so. 1. What are some continuities and discontinuities between the theories and practices of the eugenics movements you’ve read about in the chapters for which your group is responsible and the racial ideas that we looked at last time (in terms of sex/gender, class, nation)? Think also about differences and similarities from earlier eugenics, if you’re in groups 2 or 3. 2. To use Omi and Winant’s terms, can you characterize the racial projects
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This note was uploaded on 11/08/2011 for the course ANTHRO 2.158 taught by Professor Ericajames during the Spring '03 term at MIT.

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lecnotes_02_26 - 21A.240 Race and Science Spring 2004 MIT...

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