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Africa, America, Europe
lecture, panel discussion
Black Atlantic - Platform 3:
Another Modernity
, Black Atlantic
Racial Science
Free admission
Black Atlantic
Lecture and discussion with Londa Schiebinger and Pascal Grosse
Moderation: Tina Campt

Languages: English/German

Experiments on human beings during the 18th century have inspired reflection on scientific-historical continuities up to the present day. Reflection begins by asking: On whom are these experiments carried out, and for what reasons? How are they legitimated? - A glance at the colonial sciences and the invention of racial constructs reveals contradictions within the human sciences. Even today, one still comes across effective overlapping bio-political strategies that repeatedly spawn racist, eugenic and anti-Semitic ideologies.

Londa Schiebinger, Professor of the History of Science in the history department at Stanford University and "Barbara D. Finberg Director" at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the same university. Her works mostly deal with the role of women and gender-specific structures in the natural sciences from the 18th century on. She is currently doing research into the colonial sciences in the 18th century. She analyses the way ethnos and gender are defined in the context of health care in the Caribbean, and especially how the ideas of scientific racism developed during an age in which physicians and medical students alternately used black and white bodies as experimental objects. In her book "Nature's Body: Gender in the Making of Modern Science" (published in 1993) she applies feminist methodology to analyse botanical research and also enquires into the meaning of race and gender in this field. Her latest book "Has Feminism Changed Science?" examines provocative theses which claim that women approach research differently than men. Her work "Plants and Empire: Colonial Bioprospecting in the Atlantic World" will be published this autumn. Londa Schiebinger has published countless articles, some of which have appeared in German. She has received many awards and is the first woman to receive the Alexander Humboldt Award and to work (from 1999 to 2000) at the Berlin Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.

Pascal Grosse studied medicine, history, psychology and medical history at the Free University, Berlin and was a research associate for neurology at the Campus Virchow-Klinikum at the Humboldt University, Berlin. Between 2000 and 2003, Grosse published works on eugenics, German colonial history and the imperialist imagination. He is currently does research as a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskollegs zu Berlin.
Publications (selection):
Eugenik, Kolonialismus und bürgerliche Gesellschaft in Deutschland, 1850-1918, Frankfurt am Main/ New York: Campus Verlag, 2000. Zwischen Privatheit und Öffentlichkeit: Kolonialmigration in Deutschland, 1900-1940, in: Phantasiereiche: Der deutsche Kolonialismus in kulturgeschichtlicher Perspektive, B. Kundrus (ed.), 91-109, Frankfurt: Campus, 2003