Presentation by Cosmin Koszor-Codrea at the Institute for Romance Studies, Jena University

On 19 March 2024, Dr. Cosmin Koszor-Codrea will give a guest lecture at Jena University. THe topic is ‘Science and the State. Darwinism, Race and Medicine in the Making of Modern Romania’.

The following presentation will give a brief overview of the intellectual roots and the development of racial scientific theories circulating in Romania during the nineteen-century. It will show the ways in which racial classification of hu- man varieties have mingled with Darwinian evolutionary theory and how these were further adopted within the teachings of natural history in the secondary schools. The discussion will also deal with the ways in which Romanian scientific ideas building on nation-state political agendas overlapped with eugenic ideas and the racialization of the local Jewish and Roma community. Finally, the presentation will discuss the relationship between quarantine polices promoted by the International Sanitary Conferences and their adoption in Romania and how these overlapped with advances in bacteriology that made use of epidemics and racial narratives discriminating the local ethnic minorities.