Eugenics, Sex and the State

18-19 January 2007 Clare College, Cambridge

This conference is the second event of the Eugenics group, a project funded by CRASSH. Set up in October 2005, the group had a workshop in March 2006.

The aim of the project is to bring together those working on eugenics, and the associated fields of heredity and degeneration, in order to identify both common ground and specificities that obtain for different national contexts, and to identify central research questions; to use this as a basis for solidly based comparative work on these topics.

The project aims to develop work in the field of the history and reception of eugenics and related subjects. Our main interest is in the period 1900-1950, but extends to the related areas of heredity, degeneration and psychometrics. Our focus is on how eugenics existed, was received and developed in specific ways in different countries, according to period, national context, political climate, interaction with other disciplines, and other eugenic associations. A core of international thinkers (Wells, Ellis, Russell) provided works that fostered an interest in eugenics in a variety of countries such as Spain, Hungary and China, in a way that is distinct from the development and nature of eugenics in Western and Northern European countries and the US, already charted by historians. The work of this project aims to map local variation in a way that allows further nuancing of mainline research carried out already, highlighting difference, identifying common points, and raising general questions.



Thursday 18 January 11.00-11.30 Registration and coffee 11.30-13.00 Diane Paul (University of Massachusetts, Boston) J.S. Mill, Hereditarianism, and Eugenics

Lucy Bland (London Metropolitan University) British Eugenics and ‘Race Crossing’: an Interwar Investigation 13.00-14.00 Lunch 14.00-15.30 Richard Cleminson (University of Leeds) Eugenics without the State: Anarchism and Sex Reform in Catalonia, 1900-1937

Alison Sinclair (University of Cambridge) Social Imaginaries: the Literature and Discourse of Eugenics 15.30-16.00 Tea break 16.00-18.15 Belén Jiménez (UNED, Spain) Potential Criminality and Social Prevention: Eugenics and Other Psychological Measures

Natalia Gerodetti (University of Leeds) Rational Subjects and the Conundrums of Eugenics

Véronique Mottier (University of Lausanne & Jesus College, Cambridge) Eugenics, Politics and the State Discussants Richard Overy (Exeter) and Lesley Hall (Wellcome) Friday 19 January 09.30-11.00 Emese Lafferton (University of Edinburgh) Eugenics, Nationhood, and the State in the Hungarian Kingdom, 1890-1918

Magda Gawin (Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw) Sex Reform and the Eugenics Movement in Poland 11.00-11.30 Coffee break 11.30-13.00 Ivan Crozier (University of Edinburgh) Havelock Ellis’s Eugenic Core

Theo van der Meer (International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam) Sexual Nowhere Land: Castration of Sex Offenders in Holland (1938-1968) and the Language of Eugenics 13.00-14.00 Lunch 14.00-15.30 Alexander Etkind (University of Cambridge) The Early Bolshevik Project of Hybridizing Humans and Primates

Martin Richards (University of Cambridge) From Eutelegenesis to Germinal Choice: Robert Graham’s “Nobel” Sperm Bank. 15.30-16.00 Tea break 16.00-17.00 Concluding discussion Discussant Lesley Hall


Please contact Gemma Tyler (tel: 01223 760487) if you are interested in attending this event