Supplemental Image File for Chapter IV and Appendix IV of "Evangelizing Eugenics" (PhD Dissertation)

  • This file contains hundreds of scanned images from the American Eugenics Society journal: "Eugenics: A Journal of Race Betterment" (1928-1931)

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • This dissertation explores the Interwar-era eugenics movements in America and Britain, focusing on efforts to educate insiders and professionals, but especially to evangelize novices. Two primary historical sources are examined in detail: the largely British To-day and To-morrow book series (1923-1931) published in London and New York, and the American Eugenics Society’s (AES) official journal Eugenics: A Journal of Race Betterment (1928-1931). I rely primarily on memetic theory to understand and explain the waxing and waning of these Interwar eugenics movements in terms of a memetic evolutionary struggle between competing cultural paradigms and their diverse reactions to social forces. In addition, I explain how eugenics and race-hygiene memes can become dormant, but never fully extinguished, and briefly explore major precedents and antecedents of organized eugenics and scientific racism paradigms from constituent roots in the Protestant Reformation and Industrial Revolution, through to the rise of the Alt-Right or White Supremacy movements of the 21st Century.

    This study introduces the aims and goals of the organized eugenics movements on both sides of the Atlantic and details their associated educational programs, as envisioned and actually delivered, for popular, formal and professional eugenics education in America, Britain and beyond.

    Research Questions:

    a) What were the prominent strains or variations of eugenics and eugenics education, and what
    were the main alternative paradigms or opposing worldviews to eugenics? How did the memetic
    struggle for dominance among these rivals play-out during the historical period in question?
    b) How, and by whom were eugenics and eugenics education goals and programs formulated,
    implemented and delivered, and what sorts of rhetorical and memetic strategies were used to
    educate and persuade their target audiences?
    c) How have the memes of eugenics and race-hygiene persisted and mutated in the intervening years
    and why are they again ascendant or emerging from relative dormancy to ‘go viral’ again?

    This is the first in-depth study of its kind to examine the two main primary sources listed above for their eugenic content. It is also the first to consider eugenics and its educational efforts through the theoretical lens of memetic theory, as formulated by its originator, evolutionary biologist and science popularizer Richard Dawkins, author of The Selfish Gene (1976), The Extended Phenotype (1982), and numerous books since. After Dawkins’ first exposition of memes and memetics some fourty years ago, the concept of memes and the science of memetics went through an initial period of slow growth confined to a fairly narrow range of evolutionary science disciplines. This slow initial development phase was followed by a period of explosive growth upon the development and widespread popularization of the Internet and a host of digital communications technologies. Memetics is now a thriving field of study with numerous burgeoning applications, including the recent ‘weaponization’ of memes for political purposes, most notoriously by Russian ‘Troll Farms’ for the 2016 ‘Brexit’ campaign and the 2016 Presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump.

    The substantive heart of this dissertation is an extended review and initial memetic analysis of the "To-day and To-morrow" book series (in Chapter III) and the AES journal Eugenics (Chapter IV). Chapter III illustrates the full extent of the environmentalist-hereditarian spectrum and portrays the British class-based eugenics paradigm. Chapter IV explores the race-based Nordicist eugenics paradigm in America, and its eventual evolution into so-called ‘Reform Eugenics.’ These two primary sources representing the British and American eugenics movements are then compared and further analyzed in Chapter V, along with their historical precedents and successor movements. These historical iterations contain many common elements at the level of simple memes and meme-clusters, just as the discrete shards of glass in a Kaleidoscope remain constant, even as the larger patterns they form shift. This presentation incorporates extensive quotes, scanned excerpts, and photos with captions from these key sources. In addition, embedded memes are identified and expressed as so-called ‘meme-maps’ to reconstruct the two main paradigms and hereditarian worldview of eugenics, as well as their contemporary memetic rivals. Beyond this main document, there are extensive appendices (II-IV) covering various aspects of eugenics and its education efforts. There is also a brief glossary of memetics terms and concepts in Appendix I (pages 365-370), following the list of references. A supplemental image file (204 pages) for scans of the AES Journal 'Eugenics' is available for download from ERA.

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    Research Material
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International