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Chloe Campbell

The cultural pervasiveness of eugenics, described in the previous chapter, does not always make its influences easy to define: the eugenic programme was largely theoretical, and the intellectual project was always work-in-progress. As a set of ideas, eugenics was profoundly malleable, marked by a deep ambivalence towards concepts of progress and modernity and consequently

in Race and empire
Chloe Campbell

In January 1931, Dr H. L. Gordon, President of the Kenya branch of the British Medical Association, made a speech at the organisation’s Annual Dinner which was a powerful plea for the use of eugenics in colonial development policy. He argued that the promotion of education and physical health in Africa were potentially irresponsible objectives if undertaken without due regard

in Race and empire
Chloe Campbell

The eugenics movement that emerged in Kenya in the early to mid-1930s both chimed and at times subtly clashed with settler prejudices and preoccupations. The movement was born out of British eugenics – a eugenic hybrid was created, which used the same intellectual framework and attracted a similar audience to that of British eugenics, but which was also distinctively motivated by

in Race and empire
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Eugenics in colonial Kenya
Author: Chloe Campbell

This book tells the story of a short-lived but vehement eugenics movement that emerged among a group of Europeans in Kenya in the 1930s, unleashing a set of writings on racial differences in intelligence more extreme than that emanating from any other British colony in the twentieth century. By tracing the history of eugenic thought in Kenya, it shows how the movement took on a distinctive colonial character, driven by settler political preoccupations and reacting to increasingly outspoken African demands for better, and more independent, education. Eugenic theories on race and intelligence were widely supported by the medical profession in Kenya, as well as powerful members of the official and non-official European settler population. However, the long-term failures of the eugenics movement should not blind us to its influence among the social and administrative elite of colonial Kenya. Through a close examination of attitudes towards race and intelligence in a British colony, the book reveals how eugenics was central to colonial racial theories before World War II.

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Nellie’s dance
Chloe Campbell

In July 1933 an aristocratic farmer-settler, the Honourable Eleanor, or ‘Nellie’, Grant, went to a ball held for the navy by Kenya’s Acting Governor, Sir Henry Moore, at Government House, Nairobi. She had a ‘lovely sit-out’ with the Reverend Wright, Dean of Nairobi, and their conversation turned to some of the big issues of the day, religion and eugenics

in Race and empire
Editor: Saul Dubow

The history and sociology of science has not been well developed in southern Africa as compared to India, Australia or Latin America. This book deals with case studies drawn from South Africa, Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia), Mozambique and Mauritius, and examines the relationship between scientific claims and practices, and the exercise of colonial power. European intellectuals saw in Africa images of their own prehistory and societal development. The book reveals the work of the Swiss naturalist and anthropologist Henri Junod. The relative status of Franco-Mauritian, Creoles and Indo-Mauritian peasants was an important factor in gaining knowledge of and access to canes. After the Boer War, science was one of the regenerating forces, and the British Association found it appropriate to hold its 1905 meetings in the Southern African subcontinent. White farmers in the Cape Colony in the late nineteenth century often greeted with suspicion the enumeration of livestock and crop. The book focuses on the connections between the apartheid state's capacity to count and to control. Apartheid statecraft included aspirations of totalising modes of racialised knowledge. Included in the theme of state rationality and techniques of domination is the specialized use of dogs by police in apprehending black alleged criminals. The book discusses the Race Welfare Society, which turned to eugenics for a blueprint on how to cultivate a healthy and productive white population. However, George Gale and Sidney and Emily Kark advocated socialised medicine, and had a genuine desire to promote the broad health needs of Africans.

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The decline of the eugenics empire
Chloe Campbell

biology and partly in the nature of the colonial population, which lacked experts on heredity who could challenge Gordon and his associates’ monopoly on eugenic thought. In the case of eugenics in colonial Kenya we have a clear example of the colonial frontier’s tendency to distort. 1 The emphasis on the heredity of innate characteristics and the assumption of European superiority that underlay British

in Race and empire
Chloe Campbell

inferiority became more crystallised, undermining the Kenyan eugenicists’ claims of legitimacy in the name of trusteeship. In November 1933 letters were sent under the auspices of the British Eugenics Society to The Times , the Colonial Office and the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) which sparked off debate about the Kenyan research on race and intelligence. (The EAC was a body working under the Privy Seal

in Race and empire
Eugenics and birth control in Johannesburg, 1930-40
Susanne Klausen

On 26 June 1930 thirteen women and men gathered together in Johannesburg to form the Race Welfare Society, the purpose of which was ‘the study, investigation and application of eugenics with especial reference to South African problems’. 4 The founders of the Race Welfare Society (RWS) turned to eugenics for a blueprint on how to cultivate a healthy and productive white population. If implemented

in Science and society in southern Africa
Chloe Campbell

the colony also fed into an international circuit interested in race and intelligence through research conducted under the auspices of the Carnegie Corporation. But first of all, any discussion of eugenics and social policy needs to take into account the limits of the Kenyan state. As Joanna Lewis has demonstrated, the Kenyan colonial state was peculiarly spartan in its provision of social welfare and

in Race and empire