Darwin sought to not only produce a new scientific truth, but also to put an end to polygenism, the current scientific discourse on human origins that gave tacit and at times explicit support for slavery: ‘... when the principle of evolution is generally accepted, as it surely will be before long, the dispute between the monogenists and polygenists will die a silent and unobserved death.’ (Charles Darwin, Descent of Man, p. 235)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The "American School": A brief timeline of the Monogenist/Polygenist Debate.



Chronology
1809
12 February Darwin is born in Shrewsbury, England, the son of Robert Waring Darwin and Susannah Wedgwood. The same day as the birth of Abraham Lincoln.

1831
Darwin meets Captain Robert FitzRoy and makes preparations for the voyage. Begins Beagle diary.

Rev John Bachman meets James Audubon and begins a life-long friendship and collaboration.

Bachman's wife Maria Martin becomes Audubon's assistant and paints many of the backgrounds, plants, and insects used in Birds of North America.

1832
In mid-January, Beagle reaches St Jago, Cape Verde Islands. Darwin begins the field notebooks that he will continue to use throughout his life. From February 1832 to May 1834 the Beagle surveys the east coast of South America.

1834
Early part of the year is spent surveying in Tierra del Fuego and the Falkland Islands. April to May Darwin and Fitz-Roy travel inland along the River Santa Cruz. From June 1834 to September 1835 the Beagle surveys the west coast of South America.

1835
Beagle departs Lima, Darwin spends 16 September to 20 October exploring the Galapagos Archipelago, then traveled on to spend November in Tahiti and New Zealand.

1836
Beagle drops anchor at Falmouth, England, on October 2 and on October 4 Darwin returns home to Shrewsbury. Begins to publish scientific papers.

1837
George Gliddon and Samuel G. Morton begin corresponding. Gliddon obtains several specimens for Morton's work.

Darwin publishes The Zoology of the Voyage of the Beagle (1838-43). In July begins his first notebook on the transmutation of species.

1839
Samuel G. Morton, Crania Americana; or a Comparative view of the Skulls of various Aboriginal Nations of North and South America; to which is prefixed an essay on the Varieties of the Human Species (Philadelphia, 1839)

George Combe, Notes on the United States of America during a Phrenological Visit in 1838-1840.

Darwin marries Emma Wedgwood on 29 January; publishes Journal of Researches, later known as Voyage of the Beagle. Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

1840
Based upon many errors, the US Census suggests that Negroes are prone to violence and insanity in the North. Despite many efforts of Jarvis to correct the results, Secretary of State John C. Calhoun prevents any challenges and the results remain official. The attempts to overturn the Census result in the founding of the American Statistical Association.

1840-1852
Gliddon undertakes a series of widely popular lectures on Egyptology around the United States using a 800 foot long moving backdrop and many artifacts.

1841
Samuel G. Morton, “Distinctive Characteristics of the Aboriginal Man of America,”Annual Address before the Boston Society of Natural History.

George R Gliddon, Ancient Egypt: a series of chapters on early Egyptian history, archaeology, and other subjects connected with hieroglyphical literature.

1844
Samuel G. Morton, Crania Ægyptiaca; or Observations on Egyptian Ethnography, derived from History and the Monuments, dedicate to Gliddon.

Darwin expands an early sketch of the theory of natural selection into a longer essay. He writes a note to Emma Darwin requesting that this essay should be published if he should die unexpectedly, providing some funds as well as the names of possible editors.

1845
Josiah Nott, “On the Pathology of Yellow Fever,” American Journal of the Medical Sciences, 9, new series, 277-293. Nott argues that those “hybrids” of “mixed” race are less likely to contract Yellow fever than Whites or Negroes.

Josiah Priest. Slavery, as it relates to the Negro... and Causes of his State of Servitude ... with strictures on Abolitionism.

Rev. John Bachman, having newly taken over as minister, actively recruits African Americans to join St. John's Lutheran Church in Charleston. Black membership reaches 200. A segregated Sunday School for African-Americans is established with 150 pupils and 30 teachers and staff.

1846
Josiah Nott, “Unity of the Human Race,” Southern Quarterly Review, January 1846.

Louis Agassiz arrives in Boston.

1847
Louis Agassiz in Charleston.

Thomas S. Savage and Jeffries Wyman. "Notice of the External Characteristics and Habits of Trolodytes Gorilla, A New Species of Orang from the Gaboon River." Boston Journal of Natural History. The first anatomical description of a gorilla in the United States, compares its anatomy with that of the Caucasian and the Negro. 

1848
Charles Pickering, a supporter of the polygenic theory, publishes The Races of Mankind and their Geographical Distribution.

Josiah Nott, “Yellow Fever Contrasted with Billious Fever --- Reason for Believing it a Disease of Sui Generis... Probably Insect or Animalcular Origin,” New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal. Nott correctly suggests that Yellow Fever is transmitted by an insect.

E. George Squire and Edwin Hamilton Davis, Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley: Comprising the Results of Extensive Original Surveys and Explorations.

1849
Josiah Nott, Two Lectures on the Connection Between the Biblical and Physical History of Man Nott advances the polygenic argument against Biblical authority and for what he called “free scientific inquiry.”

George Robins Gliddon, Handbook to the American panorama of the Nile: being the original transparent picture exhibited in London at Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly, purchased from its painter and proprietors, Messrs. H. Warren, J. Bonomi and J. Fahey.

John Bachman and John J. Audubon, Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America.

1850
Louis Agassiz, “The Diversity of Origin of Human Races” Christian Examiner XVIII.

Josiah Nott, “Ancient and Scriptural Chronology” Southern Quarterly Review.

De Bow, “Physical Characteristics of the Negro" De Bow’s Review IX.

1851
De Bow, “Diversity of the Human Race,” DeBow's Review X.

Samuel G. Morton, “Value of the Word Species in Zoology,” American Journal of Science and Arts11, 2nd Series, 275-276, 1851.

Josiah Nott, An Essay on the Natural History of Mankind, Viewed in Connection with Negro Slavery (Mobile, 1851).

Herbert Spencer, originator of the term “survival of the fittest” and advocate of cosmic evolution, publishes his Social Statics.

Samuel G. Morton dies.

John James Audubon dies.

1853
Josiah Nott, “Geographical Distributions of Animals and the Races of Man” New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal, IX

John H. Van Evrie, M.D., Negroes and Negro “Slavery”; the first an Inferior Race --- the Latter, its Normal Condition. (Baltimore, 1853)

Josiah Nott “Aboriginal Races of America” Southern Quarterly VIII 1854 - 1855

Josiah C. Nott and George R. Gliddon. 1855. Types of Mankind: or, Ethnological Researches, based upon the ancient monuments, paintings, sculptures, and crania of races, and upon their natural, geographical, philological and Biblical history:/ illustrated by selections from the inedited papers of Samuel George Morton ... and by additional contributions from Prof. L. Agassiz, LL. D., W. Usher, M. D., and Prof. H. S. Patterson.

John Bachman, “Types of Mankind.” Review, Charleston Medical Journal, IX

1856
Samuel F. Haven, Archaeology of the United States; or Sketches, Historical and Bibliographical, of the Progress of Information and Opinion respecting the Vestiges of Antiquity in the United States. Smithsonian Institution.

1856 - 1857
Darwin begins writing up his views for a projected big book called 'Natural Selection'.

Louis Agassiz, Essay on Classification.

Josiah C. Nott, George R. Gliddon, and Louis Ferdinand Alfred Maury, Indigenous races of the earth; or, New chapters of ethnological inquiry; including monographs on special departmentsPhiladelphia, J. B. Lippincott & co.

George Gliddon dies.

1858
Josiah Nott translates and publishes the first English edition of Gobineau’s Essay on the Inequality of the Races.

1859
Charles Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species. It will go through six editions in Darwin's lifetime.

Newberry College, a liberal arts college in Newberry, S.C., is founded by Rev. John Bachman

1860
Rev. John Bachman leads the opening prayer at Institute Hall in Charleston as South Carolina votes for secession. Though opposed to secession and a social reformer in terms of slavery, Bachman fiercely defended the South and lambasted profiteering in wartime writings for South and North Carolina newspapers.

Josiah Nott admits that Darwin's theory is correct and that the polygenic theory has been refuted, but says that “at least it [Darwin's theory] is a capital dig at the parsons.”

At his church in Charleston, Bachman baptizes 67 Euro-Americans & 76 African-Americans and confirms 19 Euro- Americans and 40 African-Americans; African-Americans now constitute 35% of the membership of St. John's Lutheran Church.

1861
Attack on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, begins Civil War.

John Bachman and Josiah Nott would both lose sons fighting in the opposing armies.

1863
Emancipation Proclamation signed by Lincoln.

1864
John Bachman, Characteristics of Genera and Species, as Applicable to the Doctrine of Unity in the Human Race.

1865
Sherman begins his March to the Sea.

Charleston is evacuated and later is destroyed. Bachman attempts to move his collections and his wife's work to Newberry College for safe-keeping. Most are lost in the destruction of Charleston. Bachman is severely beaten when he encounters a detachment of Union soldiers and left partially paralyzed.

The Civil War ends.

John James Audubon and Rev. John Bachman, The Quadrupeds of North America.

1871
Charles Darwin publishes The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex.

1873
Louis Agassiz dies.

Josiah Nott dies.

1874
Rev. John Bachman dies, supposedly saying at the end: “Little children... love one another.” He is buried under the alter of St. John's Lutheran Church in Charleston.

1882
Charles Darwin dies at Down House on April 19 and is buried in Westminster Abbey. His supposed last words were "I am not in the least afraid to die."

Syllabus for Science and the Origins of Race (SS.490), Fall 2014

 
Syllabus for Science and the Origins of Race (SS.490), Fall 2014

 
  
Science and the Origins of Race
School of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Department of Social Science & Cultural Studies
Course number/section: SS.435
Credits: 3
Day & Time: Thursday, 2:00pm – 4:50pm
Meeting Place: North Hall 114

B. Ricardo Brown, Ph. D.
Professor of Social Science and Cultural Studies

Office Location: Dekalb 419
Office Hours: Tuesday 12:30 -1:50pm
Office Phone number: 1.718.636.3600 ext. 2709
Appropriate times to call: 12:30-1:50pm or by appointment
Email: BBRow993@pratt.du
URL: http://node801.org
Course blog: http://until-darwin.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/UntilDarwin/

_____________________________________________________________________
Bulletin Description:
We often understand race as it confronts us today: as a source of diversity and multiculturalism or as a source of social problems and conflicts.  This is not surprising given that for many people racism is a social fact of everyday life.  However, racism presupposes the existence of Race, of something so essential to us that it orders social life, is visibly manifested by our bodies, and that these societies and human beings  are fixed in their differences.  Race began as a scientific concept within Natural History, but one with far reaching connections to nationalism, sexuality, industrialism, slavery, and authority.  This class will investigate the many scientific discourses on race through the debates on the origin of species, whether races represent different species of humans (the monogenesis/polygenesis dispute in Antebellum America), phrenology, criminal anthropology, eugenics, and degeneration.  Throughout the semester, you will be prompted to apply what we are learning to a discussion of contemporary society.

Long Description
The Sociology of Science and the Origins of Race
We often try to understand race as it confronts us today, either as a source of diversity and multiculturalism or as a social problem. This is not surprising given the fact that racism is a historical production and so today we still exist amidst its' vast accumulation. But racism presupposes the existence of Race, of something so essential to us that it is visibly manifested by our bodies, and these manifestations fall into a limited number of scientifically defined types. Race began as a scientific concept within the discourse of Natural History, but with far reaching connections to nationalism, sexuality, industrialism, and authoritarianism. To place our contemporary discussion of human variety into a historical context, this class will investigate the history of scientific discourses on race from Blumenbach’s classification of humanity into the five familiar races, to Gobineau’s Essay of the Inequality of Human Races, the Social Darwinists, and Thomas Dugdale’s The Jukes, a classic study of degeneration in fin de sciel upstate New York. Along the way, we will examine the debate on the origin of species, whether races represent different species of humans (the monogenesis/polygenesis dispute in Antebellum America), phrenology, intelligence testing, criminal anthropology, the culture of poverty, and degeneration. Throughout the semester, we will apply what we are learning to the discussion of contemporary ideas and conflicts regarding race and racism.

_____________________________________________________________________
Course Goals

This course will:

A. introduce and familiarize students with the history of scientific theories regarding the source of human variety, the most prominent one being that of Race.

B. provide students an social and intellectual context for understanding the development of racial theories and their far-reaching implications in many branches of knowledge

C. expose students to the range of interpretations of the meaning of race in the sociology and history of science.

D. deepen students understanding of the continuities and discontinuities of the sciences of life and society.

E. present students with the means to understand how science relates to power and how power relates to social conflicts and social problems.

Student Learning Outcomes

At the end of this semester, students will:

A. demonstrate a knowledge of the the history of attempts by naturalists and scientists to understand and give meaning to race as a means to understand variation in humans and, ultimately, nature itself.

B. recognize and contrast important persons and concepts in Natural History, Biology, and the social sciences.

B. understand and critique the sources of some of our most fundamental social and political questions regarding race and society.

C. interpret and analyze contemporary “racial” disputes and the politics of genetics in the context of their knowledge of the history of scientific theories of race.

D. identify how the disputes over the scientific meaning of race infused many key concepts in the social sciences.

E. demonstrate an ability to analyze and interpret concepts and events in the history of sociology, psychology, Natural History, and biology.

_____________________________________________________________________
Course Requirements

Short Reading Responses:
Three short reading responses are required. The due dates are indicated in the course schedule. These responses are 5 or should you choose, more pages (about 1200-1500 words). Each response will consist of the following:
  1. Discussion of the author’s mode of argumentation. Does it vary between texts or is it consistent? How would you characterize the way in which the author argues? Who do you think is the audience for the text?
  2. A general outline of the arguments and a brief discussion of the important concepts that you found in the readings. Discuss any aspects of the texts that might have changed your way of thinking about the author/works.
  3. What you see as the relation between this author/texts and those of the others we are reading this semester?
Remember, keep in mind as you read:
  1. The author’s style of arguing and how he constructs his argument.
  1. How he describes and defends key elements of his theory.
  1. How, if called upon, you might characterize his style of argument and writing?

Self-Evaluation
At the end of the course you may submit a 1-2 page statement evaluating your own performance and your assessment of what you believe to be a fair final grade. The self-evaluation may account for as much as 5% of your final grade

Class Participation
Education is not a one way street and we can not expect to simply passively receive knowledge unless we expect to live a passive life. All students should come to class prepared to discuss the reading to the best of their ability. Class participation will account for 5% of your final grade.

Absences and Lateness
Persistent absences or lateness will result in a reduction of your final grade by as much as 10%.
_____________________________________________________________________
Readings
The readings for the class will be drawn from a wide variety of sources. The primary texts that you will want to purchase for this course are:

Gossett, Thomas. 1997 [1963]. Race: the History of an Idea in America. Oxford University Press, 2nd edition. ISBN: 0195097785

Gould, Stephen Jay. 1996. The Mismeasure of Man. 2nd Revised Edition. New York, W. W. Norton. ISBN: 0393314251

Appleman, Philip, ed. 1979. Darwin: A Norton Critical Edition. New York: W.W. Norton, 3rd edition. ISBN: 0393958493
It is suggested that you also purchase or obtain through the library:

Brown, B. Ricardo. 2010. Until Darwin: Science, Human Variety, and the Origins of Race. London: Pickering and Chatto.

George Canguilhem. 1988 [1977]. Ideology and Rationality in the History of the Life Sciences. Cambridge: MIT Press. ISBN-13: 978-0262031370

Mosse, George L. 1985. Toward the Final Solution: A History of European Racism. New York: Howard Fertig. ISBN: 0865274282

Max Nordau. 1993 [1892]. Degeneration. With Introduction by George L. Mosse. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Wailoo, Keith, Alondra Nelson, and Catherine Lee. 2012. Genetics and the Unsettled Past: The Collision of DNA, Race, and History. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.

Suggested sources for purchasing the readings:
Book Culture http://
The Advanced Book Exchange http://www.abebooks.com
Barnes and Nobles http://www.bn.com
St. Marks Bookstop http://www.stmarksbookshop.com
The Strand second-hand store on 12th street http://www.strandbooks.com
_____________________________________________________________________

Outline of the Course of Study
Week I. Introduction to the Course

Week II. Race before Enlightenment: Natural History, Human Variety, and the Classification of Nature
Thomas Gossett. “Early Race Theories” in Race: the History of an Idea in America, pp.3-17.

Week III. The Question of the Origin of Species & the “Regular Gradation in Man”
Gavin De Beer. “Biology before Darwin” in Appleman, pp. 3-10.
Charles Darwin. “An Historical Sketch of the Progress of Opinion on The Origin of Species, Previously to the Publication of This Work” in Appleman, pp. 19-27.
Stephen J. Gould.”Age-old fallacies of thinking and stinking,” from The Mismeasure of Man, pp. 391-399.
Stephen J. Gould. “Racial geometry,” and “The moral state of Tahiti – and of Darwin,” from The Mismeasure of Man, pp. 401-412.

Week IV. The Question Concerning the Origin of Species: The American School Monogenesis vs. Polygenesis FIRST READING RESPONSE DUE
Stephen J. Gould. “American Polygeny and Craniometry before Darwin” from The Mismeasure of Man, pp. 62-104.
B. Ricardo Brown. “Polygenesis and the Types of Mankind” from Until Darwin, pp. 59-98.

Week V. The Origin Of Species and The Descent of Man
Charles Darwin. “Recapitulation and Conclusions” from The Origin of Species, and selections from The Dissent of Man in Appleman, pp. 43-88, 108-131, 187-210.

Week VI. The Sciences of Life and Man
Thomas Gossett. “Race and Social Darwinism” from Race: the History of an Idea in America, pp. 144-175.

Week VII. Degeneracy
Max Nordau. “The fin de sciel” in Degeneration, pp. 1-40.
Degenerate Art (Documentary film in class)

Week VIII. Criminal Anthropology
SECOND READING RESPONSE DUE
Stephen J. Gould. “Measuring Bodies: Two Case Studies on the Apishness of Undesirables” from The Mismeasure of Man, pp. 141-175.

Week IX.
Thomas Gossett. “Nineteenth Century Anthropology” from Race: the History of an Idea in America, pp.54-83.
The Anthropologist (Documentary Film in class)

Week X.
Thomas Gossett. “Teutonic Origins Theory,” and “Study of Language and Literature,” from Race, the History of an Idea, pp. 84-143.
Michael Wood. Hitler’s Search for the Holy Grail (Documentary film in class)
Week XI.
Lundy Braun and Evelynn Hammonds. “The Dilemma of Classification: The Past in the Present” in Wailoo, Nelson, and Lee, Genetics and the Unsettled Past, pp.67-80.
The First Americans? (Documentary Film in class)

Week XII. The Germ-Plasm and Racial Destiny
George Canguilhem. 1988 [1977]. “On the History of the Life Sciences Since Darwin” from Ideology and Rationality in the History of the Life Sciences, pp. 103-124.

Week XIII. Eugenics
Daniel J. Kevles. 1995. In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity, pp. 3-20, 70-112, 129-148.
Peter A. Chow-White. “The Informationalization of Race: Communication, Databases, and the Digital Coding of the Genome” in in Wailoo, Nelson, and Lee, Genetics and the Unsettled Past, pp. 81-103.
Final Essay Question Distributed

Week XIV. The Floating Signifier
Stuart Hall. Race, the Floating Signifier. Video of lecture.

Week XV. Review and Discussion: What have we learned so far?
FINAL READING RESPONSE DUE


Sociology of Science & the Origins of Race: Slides from Sessions I & II

 
Sociology of Science & the Origins of Race: 
Slides from Sessions I & II
 
Slides from Sessions I & II [September 4, 2014]
on Classical and Early Scientific Theories of Human Variety

The Sociology of Science and the Origins of Race
We often try to understand race as it confronts us today, either as a source of diversity and multiculturalism or as a social problem.  This is not surprising given the fact that racism is a historical production and so today we still exist amidst its' vast accumulation.  But racism presupposes the existence of Race, of something so essential to us that it is visibly manifested by our bodies, and these manifestations fall into a limited number of scientifically defined types.  Race began as a scientific concept within the discourse of Natural History, but with far reaching connections to nationalism, sexuality, industrialism, and authoritarianism.  To place our contemporary discussion of human variety into a historical context, this class will investigate the history of scientific discourses on race from Blumenbach’s classification of humanity into the five familiar races, to Gobineau’s Essay of the Inequality of Human Races, the Social Darwinists, and Thomas Dugdale’s  The Jukes, a classic study of degeneration in fin de sciel upstate New York.  Along the way, we will examine the debate on the origin of species, whether races represent different species of humans (the monogenesis/polygenesis dispute in Antebellum America), phrenology, intelligence testing, criminal anthropology, the culture of poverty, and degeneration.  Throughout the semester, we will apply what we are learning to the discussion of contemporary ideas and conflicts regarding race and racism.

Session I. 
Introduction to the Course

Session II: 
Race before Enlightenment: Natural History, Human Variety, and the Classification of Nature
Thomas Gossett.  “Early Race Theories” in Race: the History of an Idea in America, pp.3-17.