Humanities Prof to Study Roots of Scientific Racism
Feb. 2, 2010
UT Dallas Arts and Humanities Assistant Professor Peter K.J. Park has been awarded a fellowship to conduct research in Germany on the roots of scientific racism.
Park has received a Herzog Ernst Fellowship of the Forschungsbibliothek in Gotha, part of the University of Erfurt in Germany.
The award will make it possible for him to live three months in Gotha, where he will use a renowned, former ducal library that houses one of the most significant collections of early modern publications in Germany.
Park, whose research focuses on the intellectual and cultural exchange between Europe and Asia in the 18th and early 19th centuries, begins the fellowship in the summer.
“I will be investigating the rise of scientific racism through German-language publications during the late Enlightenment, and try to trace the impact of this new pseudo-scientific discourse on historical literature, including the history of philosophy, mathematics, religion, and art,” says Park. He believes his findings “will be surprising for many historians of Europe who do not associate the Enlightenment with the rise of scientific racism.”
Park has written chapters for three books, edited two books and reviewed two scholarly monographs, and is currently revising and expanding his doctoral dissertation (“The Exclusion of Asia from the Formation of a Modern Canon of Philosophy: Debates in German Philosophy, 1790-1830”) for publication.
The University of Erfurt in Gotha houses a Research Center for Social and Cultural Studies, which is devoted to researching the early modern period. In promoting this research, it organizes conferences and lectures and provides a forum for fellows and visiting scholars presenting their work.