How did racial scientists determine racial affiliation? In the seminar we will examine the practical challenges and eventual works of physical anthropologists from 1850 to the present. By scrutinizing the scientific toolbox of racial scientists, we will reveal how national affiliation, anti-Semitic perceptions and Gender identity shaped scholars' choices of graphical and computational methods.
The aim of the course is to analyze the mutual relations between scientific theories and social perceptions, and to follow the formation of the "scientific mind". The course focuses on racial scientists and on the way their practices of computation and statistical analysis influenced their world-views - and vice versa. The students will be instructed on the way historians of science analyze scientific sources. They will gain a better understanding of the complexities of disciplinary dynamics, social biases and institutional pressures shaping scientific ideas, and learn on the influences such scientific ideas may have on the society as a whole.
Voraussetzungen / Besonderes
Please note that the seminar will be held in English and most texts will be in English. However, a small portion of the reading material will be in German.