Photography & eugenics: an historical investigation of photography's role in the development & popularisation of the eugenics movement

Grant number: DP0344206

Abstract

This project analyses the uses of racial type photographs by the eugenics movement. Photography was used as a scientific tool by eugenicists but this project is primarily concerned with its role in popularising and legitimating a movement that won widespread acceptance between c.1870 and WW2. It will explore the techniques, media forms, aims and effects of British, American and German eugenic photography and compare eugenics photography with the use of photography in contemporary liberal anthropology. The project will result in a groundbreaking monograph on a topic which will make a major contribution to our understanding of the history of racism.