The Politics of Eugenics

The term “Eugenics” was first coined in 1883 by the British scientist Francis Galton. By the late 1920s in the USA many states had embraced Eugenics inspired selective breeding and sterilisation programs with crusading zeal. Eugenic crusaders promised to eliminate poverty, crime, immorality. Alcoholism and other social ills by eliminating “burdens to the human race”. The early American pioneers John Kellogg, Charles Lindbergh, Charles Davenport and Madison grant were admired by Hitler who referred to American Eugenics programs in his speeches and Mein Kampf. Eugenics theories and practices underpinned the Nazis obsession with creating the Aryan master race.


This class will be delivered online via the online platform Zoom. Enrolling students need to ensure they have an email, a reliable internet connection, microphone/speakers and access to a tablet, smartphone or computer.


SUGGESTED READING

  • Edwin Black, War Against the Weak, Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race, Turnaround, 2004
  • Alexandra Minna, Eugenics Nation, Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in Modern USA, Uni of California, 2015


COURSE OUTLINE

  • Origins of the Eugenics movement 19th and early 20th century
  • Adoption by the USA across 30 states from the early 1920s to the 1950s
  • Impact on American society, links to racism and discriminatory immigration policies and attitudes
  • Nazi Germany’s adoption of the Eugenics policies and practices from the USA in the 1930s and 1940s


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Gain a good understanding of the reasons for the widespread adoption of the Eugenics programs in 20th c USA and the main features of the policies and practices.
  2. Evaluate the immediate and longer lasting impact of the adoption of those policies and practices both in the USA and Nazi Germany.
$22 Limited

<p>The term “Eugenics” was first coined in 1883 by the British scientist Francis Galton. By the late 1920s in the USA many states had embraced Eugenics inspired selective breeding and sterilisation

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26 Oct

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