RaceSci
Syllabi
RaceSci

 

Reason, Rhetoric, and Race: Explorations of Race and
Science, 19th Century - 20th Century
98r, Spring 1998, Junior Seminar
Barrington Steven Edwards, History of Science, Harvard
University

Email:bedwards@fas.harvard.edu


Race is a peculiar kind of object of knowledge and practice.
The meaningsof the word are unstable and protean: the status
of the words referent has wobbled -- and still wobbles --
from being considered real and rooted in the natural,
physical body to illusory and utterly socially
constructed.In the United States, race immediately evokes
grammars of purity and mixing, compounding and
differentiating, segregating and bonding, lynching and
marrying. Race, like nature and sex, is replete with all the
rituals of guilt and innocence in the stories of nation,
family and species. Race, like nature, is about roots,
pollution, and origins.

-- Donna Haraway, Universal Donors in a Vampire Culture: Its
All in the Family: Biological Kinship Categories in the
Twentieth Century United States, in William Cronon, ed.,
Uncommon Ground: Toward Reinventing Nature(New York:
W.W.Norton, 1995), pp. 321-322. 


Course Description and Overview

In a nation where the calculus of social identity is
greatly influenced by race, it is important to examine the
significance of race as a concept. This course examines the
development of race in theories of science and the role of
science in theories of race, focusing particularly on the
histories of biology, anthropology and American
sociopolitics. Arranged around specific themes (i.e.,
craniology, ethnology, eugenics, mind sciences and genetics)
and discussing many racial groups, our main goal in this
seminar is to trace the historical development of the race
concept since the nineteenth century. We will examine the
relationship between scientific and social conceptions --
that is, focusing more on the invention of race than on
racism. Many historians have characterized the mid- to
late-nineteenth century as the period in which science
constructed race. Is this the story? We will look more
closely at how the rhetoric of science -- in all its various
forms -- has impacted the American social and political
thinking about race. 


Formal Requirements

Paper 1 (15%), a discussion/response paper, 5-7 pp.; Paper 2
(20%), analysis of 1 source, 6-8 pp.; Annotated
bibliography, with abstract (25%); Required outline; Final
paper (30%), historical research paper, 12-15 pp.;
Discussion (10%), including oral presentation.


Books on order from the COOP

Audrey Smedley, Race in North America: Origin and
Evolution of a Worldview(Boulder: Westview Press, 1993).
$24.00

Stephen Jay Gould, Mismeasure of Man([1981] New York:
W. Norton & Co., 1996). $13.95

Sandra Harding, ed., The Racial Economy of Science
(Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press,
1993). $18.95

Daniel Kevles,In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the
Uses of Human Heredity(New York: Knopf, 1985). $16.00


Readings

Week 1 (February 4)
Introduction: Framing Race & Science

Orientation reading

1. Sandra Harding, INTRODUCTION: Eurocentric Scientific
Illiteracy-- A Challenge for the World Community, in Sandra
Harding, ed.,The Racial Economy of Science: Toward a
Democratic Future(Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana
University Press, 1993), 1-22.

2. Barrington Steven Edwards, Strategy of Power, Agent of
Disarmament: Racial Classification. [unpublished essay]
Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University 1996.

In class
Viewing of Ethnic Notions (1986) by Marlon Riggs [to be
viewed in Robinson 106, 5-6:15]


Week 2 (February 11)
Construction of Race: Some Theoretical Considerations

1. Audrey Smedley, Race in North America: Origin and
Evolution of a Worldview(Boulder: Westview Press, 1993),
1-40.

2. Ashley Montagu, ed., The Concept of Race (New
York: The Free Press, 1964), 1-11, 12-28.

3. Frank B. Livingstone, On the Nonexistence of Human Races,
in Ashley Montagu, ed., The Concept of Race(New York:
The Free Press, 1964), 46-60.

4. Ludwik Fleck, Genesis and Development of a Scientific
Fact(1935), trans. Fred Bradley and Thaddeus J. Trenn
(Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1979), xxvii-xxviii.

5. James C. King, The Biology of Race(New York:
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1971), 112-137.

6. Stephen Jay Gould, The Geometer of Race,
Discover15 (November 1994), 64-70.

***First paper topic available


Week 3 (February 18)
Theories about Race, Science & Scientific Racism

1. Audrey Smedley, Race in North America: Origin and
Evolution of a Worldview(Boulder: Westview Press, 1993),
41-71, 92-112.

2. Stephen Jay Gould, Mismeasure of Man([1981] New
York: W. Norton & Co., 1996), 351-366.

3. Nancy Leys Stepan and Sander Gilman, Appropriating the
Idioms of Science: The Rejection of Scientific Racism, in
Sandra Harding, ed., The Racial Economy of Science:
Toward a Democratic Future(Bloomington and Indianapolis:
Indiana University Press, 1993), 170- 193. 

4. Frances Cress Welsing, The Cress Theory of
Color-Confrontation and Racism (White Supremacy), The
Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors(Chicago: Third World
Press, 1991), 1-14.

5. Gloria Marshall, Racial Classifications: Popular and
Scientific, in Sandra Harding, ed., The Racial Economy of
Science: Toward a Democratic Future(Bloomington and
Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1993), 116-127. 

6. Barbara J. Fields, Ideology and Race in American History,
in J. Morgan Kousser and James M. McPherson, eds.,
Region, Race and Reconstruction: Essays in Honor of C.
Vann Woodward(New York: OxfordUniversity Press, 1982),
143-177.


Week 4 (February 25)
Biological Theories of Race in the 19th Century
Ethnology

1. Josiah Nott and George Gliddon, Types of
Mankind(Philadelphia:Lipponcott, Grambo & Co.,
1854), 80-87, 411-465.

2. Stephen Jay Gould, Mismeasure of Man([1981] New
York: W.Norton & Co., 1996), 62-104.

3. William Stanton, The Leopards Spots: Scientific
AttitudesToward Race in America 1815-59 (Chicago and
London: University of Chicago Press, 1960), 161-173. 

4. Audrey Smedley, Race in North America: Origin and
Evolution of a Worldview(Boulder: Westview Press, 1993),
231-254.

5. William Tucker, The Science and Politics of Racial
Research (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois
Press, 1994), 9-36.

6. Frederick Douglass, The Claims of the Negro,
Ethnologically Considered(Rochester: Lee, Mann and Co.,
1854), 37 pp. [located at Houghton Library US 5279.13] 

7. George Stocking, Jr., The Persistence of Polygenist
Thought in Post-Darwinian Anthropology, inRace, Culture
and Evolution: Essays in the History of Anthropology(New
York: Free Press, 1968), 42-68.

PAPER 1 DUE Friday, February 27 by 5 p.m. 

NO LATE PAPERS ACCEPTED!!


Week 5 (March 4)
Question of Mental Evolution & the Inequality of
Peoples

1. Francis Galton, Hereditary Genius: An Inquiry into its
Laws and Consequences[1869] (New York: Horizon Press,
1952), 1-4, 325-337. 

2. Daniel Kevles,In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and
the Uses of Human Heredity(New York: Knopf, 1985), 3-19.

3. Stephen Jay Gould, Mismeasure of Man ([1981] New
York: W. Norton & Co., 1996), 105-142.

4. Martin Delany, Principia of Ethnology: The Origin of
Races and Color(Philadelphia: Harper & Brother,
1879), 9-10, 20-36.

5. Samuel Morton, Catalogue of Skulls of Man, and the
Inferior Animals (Philadelphia: Merrihew & Thompson,
Prtrs., 1849), 74 pp. [located at MCZ Library V-M891]

*** Second paper assigned


Week 6 (March 11)
The Notion of Otherness and Whiteness

1. Edward Said, Orientalism(New York: Vintage Books,
1979), 31-110.

2. Ronald Takaki,Iron Cages: Race and Culture in
Nineteenth-Century America(Seattle: University of
Washington Press, 1979), 215-249.

3. Audrey Smedley, Race in North America: Origin and
Evolution of a Worldview(Boulder: Westview Press, 1993),
255-272.

4. David Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the
Making of the American Working Class(London: Verso,
1991), 3-18, 133-163.

5. Noel Ignatiev, When the Irish Became White(New
York: Routledge, 1995), 1-3, 178-188.

6. Franz Boas, Changes in the Bodily Form of Descendants
of Immigrants, in Race, Language and Culture([1922] New
York: Free Press, 1966), 60-75.


Week 7 (March 18)
American Eugenics and Hereditarian Theory of IQ

1. Charles B. Davenport,Effects of Race
Intermingling,Proceedings of the American
Philosophical Society 130 (1917): 364-368.

2. Daniel Kevles, In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and
the Uses of Human Heredity(New York: Knopf, 1985),
57-112.

3. Stephen Jay Gould, Mismeasure of Man([1981] New
York: W. Norton & Co., 1996), 176-264.

4. Marouf A. Hasian, The Rhetoric of Eugenics in
Anglo-American Thought(Athens, Ga.: University of
Georgia Press, 1996), 1-24, 50-71 

PAPER 2 DUE Friday, March 20 at 5 p.m.

NO LATE PAPERS ACCEPTED!!


March 21- 29: Spring Break!


Week 8 (April 1)
The IQ Factor and the Reification of Intelligence 

1. Arthur Jensen, How Much Can We Boost IQ and Scholastic
Achievement? Harvard Educational Review39 (Winter
1969): 1-12, 17, 28-30, 78-82, 84-86, 88-95. 2. Richard J.
Herrnstein, IQ, The Atlantic Monthly(September 1971),
43-64. 

3. Stephen Jay Gould, Mismeasure of Man([1981] New
York: W. Norton & Co., 1996), 264-326.

4. Carl Campbell Brigham: The Man Who Devised the SAT, in
The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education 17 (Autumn
1997): 72-73.

5. Vincent P. Franklin, Black Social Scientists and the
Mental Testing Movement, 1920-1940, in Reginald Jones,
ed.,Black Psychology(New York: Harper & Row,
1980), 201-215.

6. R.C. Lewontin, Steven Rose and Leon J. Kamin, IQ: The
Rank Ordering of the World, in Sandra Harding, ed., The
Racial Economy of Science: Toward a Democratic
Future(Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University
Press, 1993), 142-160.

7. Robert L. Williams and Horace Mitchell, The Testing Game,
in Reginald Jones, ed., Black Psychology(New York:
Harper & Row, 1980), 186-195.


** NOTE: This week, schedule an appointment with me to begin
discussing

final papers/projects.


Week 9 (April 8)
Twentieth-Century Racial Categorization

1. Ashley Montagu, Statement on Race: An Annotated
Elaboration and Exposition of the Four Statements on Race
Issued by United Nations Educational, Scientific, and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1972), ix-xii, 7-13, 139-164.

2. Donna Haraway, Universal Donors in a Vampire Culture: Its
All in the Family: Biological Kinship Categories in the
Twentieth Century United States, in William Cronon, ed.,
Uncommon Ground: Toward Reinventing Nature (New York:
Norton, 1995), 321-366.

3. W.E.B. DuBois, Conservation of Races. Occasional
Papers No. 2 (New York: Arno Press, 1969), 5-15.

4. K. Anthony Appiah, The Uncompleted Argument: DuBois and
the Illusion of Race, Critical Inquiry12 (1986):
21-37.

5. R.C. Lewontin, Steven Rose and Leon J. Kamin,The
Politics of Biological Determinism, in Not in Our
Genes(New York: Pantheon, 1984), 17-36.

6. William Provine, Geneticists and Race, American
Zoologist26 (1986): 857-887.

ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY DUE Monday, April 13 by 5 p.m. 

NO LATE PROJECTS ACCEPTED!! 


Week 10 (April 15)
Current Controversy over Race and Intelligence: The Bell
Curve

1. Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Bell
Curve: Intelligence and the Class Structure in American
Life(New York: Free Press, 1994), 269-340.

2. Daniel Kevles, In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and
the Uses of Human Heredity(New York: Knopf, 1985),
269-290.

3. Arthur R. Jensen, Paroxysms of Denial, in Russell Jacoby
and Naomi Glauberman, eds., The Bell Curve Debate:
History, Documents, Opinions (New York: Times Books,
1995), 335-337.

4. K. Anthony Appiah, Straightening Out The Bell Curve, in
Russell Jacoby and Naomi Glauberman, eds., The Bell Curve
Debate: History, Documents, Opinions (New York: Times
Books, 1995), 305-313. 

5. Leon J. Kamin, Lies Damned Lies, and Statistics, in
Russell Jacoby and Naomi Glauberman, eds., The Bell Curve
Debate: History, Documents, Opinions(New York: Times
Books, 1995), 81-105.

6. Jason Ambroise, Kwame Anku, Demetrius Eudell, Jason
Glenn, Taj James, Marshelle Jones and Khwezi Peters, The
Final Solution to the Nigger Question: Droppin Some Science
on The Bell Curve,Forum N.H.I.2 (Spring 1995), 4-40. 


Week 11 (April 22)
The CQ Factor: Racial Stratification According to Class


1. Gunnar Myrdal, An America Dilemma: The Negro Problem
and Modern Democracy(New York: Harper and Bros., 1944),
667-705.

2. James A. Geschwender,Racial Stratification in
America(Dubuque, Iowa: W. C. Brown, Co., 1978), 2-51. 

3. William Julius Wilson, The Declining Significance of
Race: Blacks and Changing American Institutions
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980), 144-154.

4. Nathan Glazer, Scientific Truth and the American Dilemma,
in Steven Fraser, ed., The Bell Curve Wars: Race,
Intelligence, and the Future of America(New York:
HarperCollins, 1995), 139-147.

5. Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Bell
Curve: Intelligence and the Class Structure in American Life
(New York: Free Press, 1994), 1-27.

REQUIRED OUTLINE DUE in class April 22


Week 12 (April 29)
Redux in the 1990s? Popular and Scientific Debates

1. Troy Duster,Backdoor to Eugenics(London:
Routledge, 1990), 93-111. 

2. Sharon Begley, Three Is Not Enough: Surprising New
Lessons from the Controversial Science of Race,
Newsweek(13 February 1995), 67-69.

3. Norman J. Sauer, Forensic Anthropology and Concept of
Race: If Races Dont Exist, Why Are Forensic Anthropologists
So Good at Identifying Them?, Social Science and
Medicine34 (15 January 1992), 107-112.

4. BOOK OF CHOICE


Week 13 (May 6)
Synthesis: Class Symposium

FINAL PAPERS DUE Monday, May 11 by 5 p.m.

NO LATE PAPERS ACCEPTED!!
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