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Program in British Studies

'Australia and the World Population Problem, 1918-1954'

Alison Bashford, Harvard University

Fri, April 9, 2010 | Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

3:00 PM

After the First World War-and despite the millions dead-there was a new concern about the prospect of world overpopulation.  For many experts involved, the issue was fundamentally about space: where would and could people go, on a newly crowded earth?  Empty lands came under international scrutiny, and first on every list was Australia.  Claimed by the British but subsequently under-cultivated and under-populated, according to many demographers and economists, Australia's very sovereignty was, surprisingly, up for question.

Alison Bashford is an historian of science and colonialism at the University of Sydney and Chair of Australian Studies at Harvard.  Her books include Purity and Pollution (1998), Imperial Hygiene (2004), and Griffith Taylor: Visionary, Environmentalist, Explorer (2008). She is currently co-editing The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics, with Philippa Levine.


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