Science, Sexuality, and Race in the United States and Australia, 1780-1940

Science, Sexuality, and Race in the United States and Australia, 1780-1940

Science, Sexuality, and Race in the United States and Australia, 1780-1940

Science, Sexuality, and Race in the United States and Australia, 1780-1940

Synopsis

Science, Sexuality, and Race in the United States and Australia, 1780-1940, Revised Edition is a sociohistorical tour de force that examines the entwined formation of racial theory and sexual constructs within settler colonialism in the United States and Australia from the Age of Revolution to the Great Depression. Gregory D. Smithers historicizes the dissemination and application of scientific and social-scientific ideas within the process of nation building in two countries with large Indigenous populations and shows how intellectual constructs of race and sexuality were mobilized to subdue Aboriginal peoples.

Building on the comparative settler-colonial and imperial histories that appeared after the book's original publication, this completely revised edition includes two new chapters. In this singular contribution to the study of transnational and comparative settler colonialism, Smithers expands on recent scholarship to illuminate both the subject of the scientific study of race and sexuality and the national and interrelated histories of the United States and Australia.

Excerpt

On July 23, 1933, the New York times reported that AUSTRALIA’S tropical north—a vast “uninhabited” land stretching from the Indian to the Pacific Ocean—“are to be open to settlers.” Thirty years after historian Frederick Jackson Turner declared the United States’ western frontier “closed,” Americans looked to far-flung parts of the world for hitherto unexplored frontiers and untapped natural resources. For American readers schooled in tall tales of life on the Great Plains, the New York Time’s description of northern Australia’s “inland savannahs [which] offer potential opportunities to white settlers” must surely have captured the imagination of many readers.

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the New York Times was one of a number of major American newspapers to carry regular news from Australia. Indeed, since the Spanish-American War of 1898 announced the United States’ arrival as a major colonial player in both the Atlantic and Pacific worlds, a steady stream of reporting from the Asia-Pacific had reached American readers. From Australia, American newspapers included reports on everything from the game of cricket to the settlement of land in the Australian tropics and government policies toward Aboriginal people. Despite, or perhaps because of, the convulsive revolutionary war that gave birth to both the United States and ultimately led to the establishment of the penal colony of New South Wales, along . . .

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