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The Biologisation of National Belonging: Medical Doctors, Eugenics and Racial Anti-Semitism in Hungary and Romania, 1918-1940

Final Activity Report Summary - IDENTITY (The Biologisation of National Belonging: Medical Doctors, Eugenics and Racial Anti-Semitism in Hungary and Romania, 1918-1940)

The final result of my fellowship materialised into two monographs, the first dealing with the history of eugenics in Hungary between 1900 and 1940 and the second concentrating on the history of anthropology and medicine in Romania between 1860 and 1945. Both monographs filled an important gap in the scholarship, as neither subject had hitherto benefitted from academic scrutiny. Moreover, I hoped that once published these monographs would not only firmly establish these topics within the scholarship dealing with social history of medicine, eugenics, anthropology, biopolitics and bio-medicine in Europe and elsewhere but, equally important, open new venues of research for another generation of scholars.

In addition to conducting archival research in Hungary, Romania, Greece and the United Kingdom (UK) and collecting data, I edited, together with Paul Weindling, a volume dealing with the topics of eugenics and bio-politics in Central and Southeast Europe, to which I contributed with an introduction and a chapter on Hungarian eugenics. I also edited, together with Matt Feldman from Northampton University, a special issue for the journal Totalitarian Movements and Political Religion, dealing with 'clerical fascism in interwar Europe' which would be published as a volume by Routledge.

Another immediate result was the network of young scholars working on bio-medicine in Central and Southeast Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth century, which I established at Oxford Brookes and hoped to transform into a genuine forum for international collaboration. Thus far I had succeeded in organising three workshop meetings in Oxford, Vienna and Berlin, each thematically different.

At both individual and departmental levels, I benefited greatly from being able to pursue these projects at Oxford Brookes University. My strong commitment to research, publication and teaching in the thematic area covered by the Marie Curie fellowship enhanced my research planning and opened up new vistas of research. It became clear that I would be able to develop a successful academic career with its focus in this thematic area.

Recently, Oxford Brookes University offered me a permanent position in twentieth century Central and Eastern European biomedicine, thus confirming its commitment to invest in young researchers working in the field of eugenics and biopolitics and recognising the importance of the Marie Curie fellowship in shaping my academic career. Oxford Brookes University also supported two applications, made along with Professor Paul Weindling to AHRC and ESF, respectively. The first, dealing with 'human experiments under National Socialism: victims, perpetrators and post-war trials', was awarded 403 232 £, including two doctoral studentships. The second, dealing with 'suppressed histories: eugenics and biopolitics in Europe, 1900-1950' was under evaluation by the project completion time.

Finally, I was also successful in establishing Socrates and Erasmus links with the University of Peloponnese and Wroclaw Medical University in the fields of medical sciences and public health.