CHSTM: Perspectives on Race Science and Scientific Racism with Christa Kuljian

Perspectives on Race Science and
Scientific Racism
with Christa Kuljian
Gustav Mützel’s “Principal Types of Mankind (After Huxley),” 1893
Listen to perspectives on the history of race science and scientific racism around the world; the intersection of race with issues of class, gender, and scientific investigation; and the ways in which the pseudoscience on race continues on in the current era.
New Episode:
Christa Kuljian is an author and Research Associate at WiSER, the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research in Johannesburg, South Africa. In Darwin’s Hunch: Science, Race, and the Search for Human Origins, Kuljian examines the history of paleoanthropology in South Africa, interrogating the ways in which ideas about racial hierarchies influenced the founding and development of the field. Her research demonstrates how the social and political context in which paleoanthropology has been practiced in South Africa and elsewhere influenced the development of the science, and how present-day scientists are pushing back against the troubling legacies of their field.
Listen to the discussion on our website; closed-captioning is available on YouTube.
Previous Episodes:

  • Elise Burton analyzes the development of genetics, race science, and race concepts in the contemporary Middle East.
  • Sebastián Gil-Riaño examines how scientific articulations of human diversity have been used to both legitimize and confront notions of race and racism in the modern world.
  • Sadiah Qureshi recounts the history of human exhibitions in nineteenth-century Britain, and tells us how these shows contributed to the formation of the discipline of anthropology.
  • Rana Hogarth talks about her work on “medicalized” blackness in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and how African-Americans pushed back against this endeavor.
  • John Jackson discusses the impact of nineteenth-century race science on twentieth-century scientific investigation, the challenge to race science made by population genetics and anthropology, and the ways in which the pseudoscience of race continues to inform twenty-first century debates.