The cultivation of whiteness: science, health and racial destiny in Australia

Front Cover
Melbourne University Press, Apr 1, 2002 - History - 352 pages
In nineteenth-century Australia, the main commentators on race and biological differences were doctors. The medical profession entertained serious anxieties about 'racial degeneration' of the white population in the new land. They feared non-white races as reservoirs of disease, and they held firm beliefs on the baneful influence of the tropics on the health of Europeans. Gradually these matters became the province of public health and biological science. In the 1930s anthropologists claimed 'race' as their special interest. The author examines the notion of 'whiteness' as a flexible category in scientific and public debates. Anderson also provides an account of experimentation in the 1920s and 1930s on Aboriginal people in the central deserts. Draws on European and American work on the development of racial thought and on the history of representations of the body.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Antipodean Britons
A Cultivated Society
No Place for a White Man

8 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2002)

Warwick Anderson teaches at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he is Chair of the Department of Medical History and Bioethics; Robert Turell Professor of Medical History and Population Health; and Professor of the History of Science, Science and Technology Studies, and Southeast Asian Studies. He is the author of Colonial Pathologies: American Tropical Medicine, Race, and Hygiene in the Philippines, also published by Duke University Press.