Catholicism, Race and Empire

Catholicism, Race and Empire: Eugenics in Portugal, 1900-1950

Richard Cleminson
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Pages: 304
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7829/j.ctt1287c3b
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  • Book Info
    Catholicism, Race and Empire
    Book Description:

    This monograph places the science and ideology of eugenics in early twentieth century Portugal in the context of manifestations in other countries in the same period. The author argues that three factors limited the impact of eugenics in Portugal: a low level of institutionalization, opposition from Catholics and the conservative nature of the Salazar regime. In Portugal the eugenic science and movement were confined to three expressions: individualized studies on mental health, often from a ‘biotypological’ perspective; a particular stance on racial miscegenation in the context of the substantial Portuguese colonial empire; and a diffuse model of social hygiene, maternity care and puericulture.

    eISBN: 978-963-386-029-8
    Subjects: Health Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[vi])
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. 1-4)
  4. CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 5-26)

    Eugenics, a ‘biopolitical’ undertaking parexcellence, played an integral role in the social and political transformations wrought by modernity.¹ In many senses, eugenicswasmodernity epitomised not only in all its promises, but also in its many contradictions and failings. Eugenics contributed to the development of scientific rationales as seductive solutions for social problems, it helped to consolidate the authority of the state and the power of professional medical groups and participated in on-going battles over secularisation and the relevance of religion. These processes were all intimately linked to the conflicts engendered by the great ideological schisms of the early...

  5. CHAPTER II THE BIRTH OF EUGENICS IN PORTUGAL: EARLY DEBATES AND THE SOCIAL AND SCIENTIFIC CONTEXT, 1900–1927
    (pp. 27-60)

    In his 1917 quasi-Futurist tract,Ultimatum, Álvaro de Campos reflected on the cultural and political ‘decadence’ of Portugal in comparison to the nation’s glorious past and in relation to the progress made by the rest of Europe, in the process placing his text’s name-sake, the so-called Ultimatum given by Britain to Portugal in 1890, within a nationalist, politically unforgiving and yet poetic framework.¹ The current state of the country, now locked into a bellicose cul-de-sac that was World War One, not of its own making and of scant visible benefit to the nation, gave rise in the poet’s mind to...

  6. CHAPTER III BETWEEN CONSOLIDATION AND INSTITUTIONALISATION: EUGENICS, CATHOLIC OPPOSITION AND THE SALAZAR REGIME, 1927–1933
    (pp. 61-120)

    The year marked by Mendes Correia’s 1927 statement in favour of eugenics, coming during the early stages of the military regime that emerged out of the 28 May 1926 coup led by General Gomes da Costa, represented a milestone in the history of eugenic discourse in the country. On identifying the physical and psychic problems that beset the Portuguese population, Mendes Correia, one of the country’s most prominent archaeologists and anthropologists, demonstrated the ability of eugenics as a new science to find a home in established scientific discourses and to make itself heard as a new strategy for the resolution...

  7. CHAPTER IV APOGEE AND DECLINE: FROM THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE EUGENICS SOCIETY TO DISSOLUTION INTO THE CENTRE FOR DEMOGRAPHIC STUDIES, 1934–1960
    (pp. 121-202)

    As suggested in previous chapters, the climate for the reception of eugenic rationales in Portugal had been steadily nurtured over the late 1920s and early 1930s, and the circumstances propitious for the institutionalisation of eugenics were finally brought about by the rise of Eusébio Tamagnini to the post of Minister of Public Instruction in the autumn of 1934. The approval of the statutes of the Portuguese Eugenics Society followed rapidly; within two months of his appointment, Portugal had established its own eugenics institute that followed in the wake of like societies in other parts of the world. However, in the...

  8. CHAPTER V ‘RACE’, EUGENICS AND MISCEGENATION IN THE PORTUGUESE METROPOLE AND ‘OVERSEAS TERRITORIES’
    (pp. 203-246)

    Ann Laura Stoler has argued that the discursive management of the sexual practices of the coloniser and colonised was fundamental to the ‘colonial order of things’. Imperial power was, of course, devoted not only to organisingdiscourseson sexuality, but also its daily and material expression in the lives of those within the colonial relation. In this colonial equation, furthermore, whiteness and its maintenance became not only a formative and formidable coordinate of bourgeois identity, but also an expression of European bio-power.¹ The ‘original’ categories of racial and sexual difference were thus upheld by means of a symbolic, material and...

  9. CHAPTER VI CONCLUSION
    (pp. 247-266)

    After returning to Germany to attend the national Nerve Specialists’ Association congress in Wiesbaden in September 1963, nearly thirty years after his internship at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin, the Portuguese psychiatrist João Henrique Barahona Fernandes looked back to the 1930s and reflected upon the Nazi laws that had sanctioned the sterilisation of the mentally ill. After recalling the vibrant pre-war scientific atmosphere that had produced work on constitutionalism by Kretschmer, Rudin’s explorations of hereditarian biology, and research on the brain by Spielmayer and Kleist, Barahona Fernandes recognised ‘the unfortunate fate of the eugenic sterilisation of the mentally ill...

  10. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 267-290)
  11. APPENDIX
    (pp. 291-292)
  12. INDEX
    (pp. 293-298)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 299-299)