Anglo-Australian racial science, trans-hemispheric transactions, and the "yellow peril" in the Anglosphere, 1850-1960

Brown, Robert William (2017). Anglo-Australian racial science, trans-hemispheric transactions, and the "yellow peril" in the Anglosphere, 1850-1960. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

PDF - Accepted Version

Download (2MB)


This thesis traces the history of Anglo-Australian racial science between 1850 and 1960, and examines evolving anthropological constructions of interracial marriage, as a lens through which we can re-evaluate gold rush histories and changing attitudes to East Asian migration throughout the British World, the British Empire’s geo-political relationship with China and Japan, and the transnational dissemination and contestation of the ‘‘yellow peril’’ trope. By decentring the histories of racial science and the British Empire from their North Atlantic moorings, and looking to anxious perceptions of East Asians emanating from antipodean Britons of the ‘global south’, the thesis builds a more trans-hemispheric narrative of the rise and fall of racial thinking. It does this by utilising two case studies. One examines the Sydney geographer Professor Griffith Taylor’s interwar problematisation of the White Australia Policy and the ‘transnational biopolitics’ of Asian immigration restriction in the Anglosphere, through his positive pronouncements about Eurasian intermarriage. Secondly, analysing the latter career of outcast former Kings College London racial scientist Professor Reginald ‘Ruggles’ Gates, and his ‘race crossing’ research in 1950s Australia and Japan, the thesis complicates histories of the global decline of racial thinking and survival of marginal scientific racists after the fall of Nazism.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of History
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DU Oceania (South Seas)
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year