Modernism and eugenics by M. Turda

By M. Turda

Is the country an ìmagined group' established on tradition or quite a organic neighborhood made up our minds by way of heredity? Modernism and Eugenics examines this query from a bifocal viewpoint. at the one hand, it seems at applied sciences during which the person physique was once redefined eugenically by means of a various diversity of ecu scientists and politicians among 1870 and 1940; at the different, it illuminates how the national Read more...


Modernism and Eugenics comprehensively explores sleek Europe's fixation with eugenic programmes of racial and nationwide purification. It convincingly demonstrates that among 1870 and 1940 Read more...

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If in Germany debates on degeneration augmented a revival of conservative and right-wing ideologies, in France, some of the most vocal defenders of the race came from the revolutionary Left. The birth control campaigner and anarchist Paul Robin – to name the most conspicuous example – placed the issue of fertility among the lower classes at the centre of his neo-Malthusian programme of racial rejuvenation. If authors like Georges Sorel and Charles Péguy predicated the regeneration of France on patriotism and the Christian tradition,63 Robin preferred a rational planning approach to motherhood.

Nineteenth- and twentieth-century nationalists added a new avenue along which to integrate scientism into European culture, namely the nation’s redemption and rejuvenation. If the messianic vision of a technologically controlled society derived from scientism, the idea of a purified national body it served belonged to nationalist eugenics. These postulates are now central to the study of fascism and communism,9 but they still have to penetrate deeper into the broader historiography of modernism and eugenics.

No longer an exclusive idiom, eugenics became part of the general European discussion about the racial future of the nation. ” This concept was defined as “the influences that are socially controllable, on which the status of the nation depends. ”75 Eugenics was, of course, open to various interpretations. Thus, and although Galton and his school emphasised the social context, other readings insisted on racial strength (for example German and Scandinavian racial hygiene) and adaptation to a hostile environment (for example French puericulture).

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