Subject: History
Credit units: 3
Offered: Either Term 1 or Term 2
Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
College: Arts and Science
Department: History


This course traces the merging of eugenics with birth control in Republican China and globally, such as in the arguments of birth control activist Margaret Sanger, and the intersection between eugenics, hygiene and nation building. Examining the reaction of Chinese intellectuals to such scientific racial ideas, will enrich our understanding of the utopic potency of eugenics as a solution to social ills such as poverty and disease. Reproduction is brought in connection with ideologies of racial improvement such as eugenics, which also underpinned the One Child Policy in the 1980s. Chinese and international activists, writers and ideologues linked the population question, theories of degeneration and race suicide, birth control, and venereal disease to eugenics. Eugenics is intertwined with mental and physical health. Eugenics functions as an international ideology that also reinforces nationalism. The scientific argument has an explanatory value and legitimates the implementation of birth control and sterilization.

Prerequisite(s):3 credit units 200-Level HIST courses.

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