From Mismeasure of Man to Invisible Man: An examination of scientific racism in the U. S.
Anelli, Carol M.
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Our section of Western Civilization (UH 330) explores the impact of science on society in historical and current contexts. The course aligns with WSUÃ¢ s Six learning Goals of the Baccalaureate. We focus here on the arts & humanities portion of the unit that examines scientific attempts to quantify human intellectual worth. To begin the unit, students read S. J. GouldÃ¢ s Mismeasure of Man, which scrutinizes scientific data from the 18th-20th centuries. These grossly flawed data had appalling consequences, including imprisonment and extermination of Jews under Nazi Germany, and enslavement and segregation of African Americans. As a companion text to the scientifically oriented Mismeasure of Man, students read Ralph EllisonÃ¢ s modern classic novel, Invisible Man. Our poster emphasizes the novelÃ¢ s use of music. We provide teaching resources, pedagogy, and student responses to the pedagogy.