CFP - Prejudice and Expertise: Discrimination in the West, 1850-2000

Bradley Hart's picture
Call for Papers
October 31, 2017
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Contemporary History, Ethnic History / Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Race Studies

Prejudice and Expertise: Discrimination in the West, 1850-2000

University of Warwick — 22-23 March 2018

The first decades of the 21st century have seen the reemergence of prejudice as a factor in European and North American politics and society. Events ranging from the rise of the far-right in France and Germany to Brexit and the election of Donald Trump have been ascribed by a range of commentators to political discontent in part motivated by racial and religious prejudice, misogyny, and xenophobia.

We propose to explore how prejudice of all forms has been historically — and is today — constructed, supported and represented to the public. In particular, this conference will aim to show how discriminatory polices and perspectives have been rationalized by recourse to theories about human ‘difference’. How exactly has prejudice been justified historically?  What evidence has been harnessed to justify discriminating against marginal groups?  Who creates the arguments for mistreating others, and how do their ideas inform professional practice and permeate the public sphere?

In the course of this conference, we hope to examine how the intellectual and academic underpinnings of prejudice are presented for public consumption through media and popular culture, and how those popularizations impact politics and public policy. Papers focusing on any Western country from the 19th century to the present day will be considered.

Paper topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • scientific racism/eugenics
  • constructions of race and identity
  • medical justifications and implications of prejudce
  • politicizing sexual practices (from homosexuality to inter-racial marriage)
  • immigration policy, xenophobia, and ‘scapegoatig’
  • persecution of indigenous peoples (including removal and separation policies)
  • religious discrimination
  • class prejudice
  • popularization of prejudice
  • media portrays of race, class, gender and sexual orientation
  • public policy and prejudice
  • the politics of prejudice
  • social impacts of prejudice

Please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words and a brief biographical statement by 31 October 2017 to:

Contact Info: 

Dr Elise Smith (University of Warwick) 

Dr Bradley W. Hart (California State Univeristy, Fresno)