Historical Perspectives On Contemporary Issues

Rana Hogarth — Eugenics and the Legacies of Slavery

Rana Hogarth is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Illinois and an NEH Fellow at the Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine. Her research project focuses on the medical and scientific constructions of race during the era of slavery and beyond. She discusses the collections she will use as she investigates  – the American Philosophical Society, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Columbia University and Rockefeller Archive Center—and the records that are available there that will inform her current book project, Measuring Miscegenation: Eugenic Race-Crossing Studies and the Legacies of Slavery.

Professor Hogarth's previous book, Medicalizing Blackness: Making Racial Difference in the Atlantic World, 1780-1840, examined how white physicians defined blackness as a medically significant marker of difference in slave societies of the American Atlantic. Her work can be found in numerous scholarly journals including the American Journal of Public HealthAmerican Quarterly, and African and Black Diaspora. In this podcast, she describes her background and her research in Consortium collections.


Closed captioning available on YouTube.

To cite this podcast, please use footnote:
Rana Hogarth, interview, Perspectives, Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine, September 23, 2022, https://www.chstm.org/video/141

Insights from the Collections

The Consortium's collections provide many opportunities to learn more about the history of eugenics and race and science in the nineteenth century.

Our cross-instiutional search tool allows researchers to investigate materials across multiple institutions from a single interface. With more than 6 million catalog records of rare books and manuscripts, the Consortium's search hub offers scholars and the public the ability to identify and locate relevant materials.

Search the Consortium search hub.

Archival Collections:

Charles B. Davenport Collection, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Frederick L. Hoffman Papers, Columbia University

Charles Benedict Davenport Papers, American Philosophcal Society

See also recent work from our fellows:

Tina Kibbe, Deviant Women, Toxic Bodies: Eugenics and Public Health in the United States, 1900-1950

Mia Levenson, Eugenics and the Politics of Scientific Performance

Emily Merchant, Molecular Eugenics

Ayah Nuriddin, Liberation Eugenics: African Americans and the Science of Black Freedom Struggles, 1890-1970

Madeline Williams, Challenging the Ableist State: Blind Organizing Through Technology and Welfare in the Era of the American Eugenics Movement, 1865-1940