I am very happy—indeed, keen—to supervise a wide range of topics related to the history of race and science, broadly construed. I am happy to supervise on dissertations covering any country or region. If you have an idea of a topic, please drop me an email and we can discuss how best to approach it.
Please see below for a few potential areas of research that I believe would make good dissertation topics. But you are by no means restricted to these. If you have your own idea, which I encourage, please suggest it.
If you have specific language skills you would like to use in your dissertation, I can also advise on that.
Potential Dissertation Areas
- History of eugenics.
- History of anthropology.
- History of genetics.
- History of racial psychology.
- Histories of resistance to scientific racism.
- History of museum collections related to racial science, such as skull or anatomical collections.
- History of racial science in postcolonial states.
- History of racial science and slavery.
- History of racial science and immigration regimes.
- History of racial science and visual culture (photography, painting, sketches, video).
- History of racial science and computing (inc. the Internet, facial recognition, and artificial intelligence).
Previous Dissertation Topics
Below are a few titles of previous undergraduate dissertations related to the history of race and science, to give you an idea of what can be done:
- The Pursuit of a ‘Wellborn’ Nation: Eugenics, Politics, and Public Policy in Great Britain (1940-1980)
- Transnational Eugenics in Britain: An Analysis of the Relationships Between the British Eugenics Society, Nazi Party and American Eugenics Movement (1930-1939)
Archival Collections (UK)
The following archives contain manuscript material related to the history of race and science.
You might also want to search using Archives Hub, which searches across a selection of major UK archives.
National Archives – UK government records (typically excluding India).
British Library – personal papers, manuscripts, and India Office records.
The Royal Society – the archives of the UK’s scientific academy, mainly records relating to the institution itself as well as personal papers of many prominent scientists.
Wellcome Collection – major collection of manuscripts related to history of science (particularly health sciences and biological sciences). NB. Search the filter by ‘Format’ and select ‘ Archives and Manuscripts’).
Science Museum – major collection of manuscripts, objects, and books relating to science in Britain from nineteenth century to today.
Royal Geographical Society – main British academy dedicated to geography, including surveying, exploring, and mapping.
Cambridge Commonwealth Collection – broad collection of archival material related to British Empire inc. anthropology and photography.
Royal Anthropological Institute – collection of material related to the history of anthropology, particularly personal papers of British anthropologists
Cambridge University Archives – vast collection of papers related to the university, including papers of anthropologists and psychologists.
Oxford University Archives – vast collection of papers related to the university, including papers of anthropologists and psychologists.
Other smaller archives may contain material of use, depending on your topic. Let me know and I can advise.
Archival Collections (Digital)
British Association for the Advancement of Science (Collections on the History of Science: 1830—1970) - a vast archive covering both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, containing material related to the history of science and technology in Britain and the British Empire.
Wellcome Library and Archives – contains an enormous amount of fully digitised archival material related to the history of medicine and the biological sciences . (Search filter using ‘Online’ and ‘Archives and Manuscripts’).
University College London Archives – a selection of digitised archival material related to individuals and institutions associated with the university, including genetics and the Institute of Archaeology.
Royal Society Archives – a somewhat limited (but expanding) selection of digitised archival material held at the Royal Society
American Philosophical Society – major collection related to science and technology in the United States.
Science History Institute – another major collection related to science and technology, mainly in the United States.
Cambridge Digital Library – digitised collections of papers held at Cambridge.
Cold Habor Spring Laboratory – digitised collection of major research centre associated with genetics including leading geneticists such as James Watson and Sydney Brenner.
Rockefeller Archive Center – contains digitised records (filter search) of the Rockefeller Center, major American funder of scientific research globally.
Printed Materials (Digital)
If you need to access a printed primary source, the best places to search for a digital copy are:
Archive.org (NB. It is worth registering as you can sometimes digitally ‘borrow’ a book for free that is otherwise inaccessible.)
Otherwise, use the University of Warwick Library inter-library loan service.