Workshop: Race, Sex, and Reproduction in the Global South, c.1800-2000, Sydney, 18-19 April 2017

James Dunk's picture

An international workshop at the University of Sydney, 18-19 April 2017
Conveners: Warwick Anderson (Sydney), Chiara Beccalossi (Lincoln), Hans Pols (Sydney)

Sponsored by Race and Ethnicity in the Global South, an ARC Laureate Research Program, and the
Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science


Biomedical scientists grew preoccupied with the size of the population and patterns of reproduction at the
beginning of the nineteenth century. By its close, sexology, a science devoted to the study of human sexual
behavior, emerged, and at the beginning of the twentieth century the eugenics movement advocated active
social engineering and state intervention in citizens’ reproductive sexuality. This medical attention to
reproduction and sexual behaviour has been closely intertwined with interest in evolutionary theories, the
improvement of hereditary traits and racial differences. Scientific and pseudo-scientific inquiries into race and
sexuality increasingly informed national policies in the modern period. The medical and scientific knowledge
on race and sexuality has moved across countries and continents to become global through processes of
translation, hybridisation and transculturation. However, historical accounts of how science and medicine have
shaped modern ideas of race and sexuality in a global context often refer only to developments in the
Global North. Recent histories of the Global South have shown that debates on race and reproduction in the
southern hemisphere have their own history. Biomedical scientists in the southern hemisphere, for instance,
showed greater interest in racial plasticity, environmental adaptation, mixing or miscegenation, and blurring
of racial boundaries; sexologists in the Global South were more likely to cross disciplinary boundaries,
incorporating criminal anthropology, psychiatry, biology, endocrinology and psychoanalysis in their studies
until well into the 1970s.

Keynote speakers: Alison Bashford (Cambridge), Margaret Jolly (ANU)

Presenters: Ellen Amster (McMaster), Chiara Beccalossi (Lincoln), Shrikant Botre (Warwick), Nicole
Bourbonnais (Graduate Institute Geneva), Eve Buckley (Delaware), Sarah Ferber (Wollongong), Vera Mackie
(Wollongong), Daksha Parmar (Jawaharlal Nehru), Yolana Pringle (Cambridge), Lisa Todd (New Brunswick),
Rebecca Williams (Exeter)

The workshop is free, but limited places are available. Registration is required, by 4 April 2017:

Dr James Dunk E james.dunk@sydney.edu.au T +61 2 9351 2809