public health

White Coats, White Hoods: The Medical Politics of the Ku Klux Klan in 1920s America

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Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Summary: 

This article explores the medical politics of the second iteration of Ku Klux Klan in the United States. As eugenics gained a foothold in America at the turn of the twentieth century, the Klan embraced the latest in scientific racism to lend legitimacy to their cultural, political, and economic goals of white supremacy. Klan physicians in particular held a vested interest preserving a racialized medical hierarchy and promoting reproductive surveillance in public health. By the 1920s, a symbiotic relationship developed between the organization and the medical profession. The Klan relied on its member physicians to lend professional respectability to the organization and scientific legitimacy to its agenda. In turn, affiliation with the Klan gave physicians an opportunity for career advancement and provided the muscle to intimidate professional and political opponents.

Embracing Allied Approaches to Public Health: Luxembourg’s Industrial Elites and the Rockefeller Mission against Tuberculosis in France after the First World War

Author(s): 
Posted: 
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Summary: 

The Rockefeller Commission for the Prevention of Tuberculosis in France played a key role in public health reforms in post–World War I France. In May 1920, one of the commission’s traveling units whose goal was to bring health education to the French departments toured the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg. This article discusses this ten-day campaign as a trigger for comprehensive public health reforms in Luxembourg. By the 1920s the steel industry had become the country’s dominant economic sector, with the conglomerate Arbed as the main employer in constant need of a healthy workforce. A group of Luxembourgian anti-tuberculosis activists, spearheaded by the wife of the country’s foremost industrialist, tried to benefit from the Rockefeller projects in France. Throughout the following decades, Luxembourgian anti-tuberculosis activists maintained close contacts with French experts. This article traces the transnational circulation of public health knowledge in the interwar period and elucidates Luxembourg’s geostrategic repositioning after World War I.