Max Planck Institute for the History of Science / Free University, Berlin
June 11th-13th, 2012
Human diversity in the European colonies represented a fascinating topic of research for scientists and posed challenging administrative issues for colonial bureaucrats. For officials, managing the challenges of colonial administration was often dependent on acquiring data on their subject populations, while, conversely, the scientific pursuit of that data was firmly embedded in colonial rule. For those whose lives became colonial subjects during this time, colonial rule meant, at the very least, being exposed to new kinds of illnesses, expertise and exploitation. It also often meant being counted and categorized in the name of welfare and reform.
The core concern of this workshop is to identify connections between the study of ‘races’, ‘populations’ or ‘human variation’ and the colonial practices associated with health and governance of diverse human groups in the early 20th century. Thus, this workshop topic lies at the intersection of the history of science and the history and anthropology of colonial projects. This is a project of the Historicizing Knowledge about Human Biological Diversity independent research group. The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science will cover travel costs to Berlin and four nights accommodation. If you have content related questions please contact awidmer@ mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de Interested scholars should send a 300 word abstract and short CV, with Colonial Workshop in the subject header, to email@example.com by November 15, 2011.