Perspectives on Race Science and Scientific: Elise K. Burton

Perspectives on Race Science and Scientific Racism with Elise K. Burton
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:
Elise Burton talks with us about the development of race science and racial genetics in the Middle East, the similarities and differences between race concepts in the Middle East and North America, and how race science has influenced contemporary politics and medicine in the Middle East and beyond.
Elise K. Burton is a historian of the life sciences in the modern Middle East, focusing on developments in genetics, evolutionary biology, physical anthropology, and medicine during the 20th and 21st centuries. She is currently an assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s Institute for the History & Philosophy of Science & Technology. She earned her BA from the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in biology and Middle Eastern studies. She completed her PhD in Middle Eastern history at Harvard University. Prior to joining Toronto, she held as research fellowship at the University of Cambridge. Her first book, Genetic Crossroads: The Middle East and the Science of Human Heredity, is coming out in January 2021 with Stanford University Press.
Listen to the discussion on our website; closed-captioning is available on YouTube.
Previous Episodes:

  • 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.