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HIST7356: Race and the Sciences: Modern Ideologies of Human Difference

Dr Lars Fischer

Since the early nineteenth century, the category of ‘race’ has been used to classify people of different origin and to legitimize hierarchical social orders. The course will give an introduction into the history of ‘race’, as it is embedded in European colonialism, the slave trade and Empire building. It will analyse how the concept of ‘race’ was both supported and contested by the sciences of the times. It will also explore how gender orders and racial orders are intertwined. We will read and interpret classic texts of racist thought of the 19th c., cover the Nazis’ move from racism and anti-Semitism to genocide and war, discuss efforts by 20th c. scientists to counter the legitimacy of ‘race’ and investigate recent revivals of ‘race’ in the late 20th c.

Assessment methods


HIST7356A/B: 2 X 2,500 word essays

Page last modified on 03 apr 14 11:07 by Jasmine Gane