Dr Sarah Walsh

BA Boston College PhD Maryland
ARC Postdoctoral Research Fellow

A14 - The Quadrangle
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 5039
Fax +61 2 9351 7760

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> Race and Ethnicity in the Global South (REGS)

Biographical details

Sarah Walsh is a historian of the human sciences in early twentieth century Latin America. She received her PhD from the University of Maryland in 2013. Currently, she is a postdoctoral research fellow in the ARC Laureate Fellowship, "Race and Ethnicity in the Global South." Her book project, The Religion of Life: Eugenics, Race, and Catholicism in Chile, examines how race mixture became central to notions of national belonging in Chile while simultaneously excluding indigenous peoples during the first half of the twentieth century.

Research interests

  • Latin America
  • History of Science
  • History of Biology
  • Public Health
  • Women and Gender
  • History of Medicine
  • History of Religion

Current projects

Sarah's manuscript, currently titled The Religion of Life: Eugenics, Race, and Catholicism in Chile, analyzes the development of Chilean eugenics to consider the relationship between Catholicism and science in the first half of the twentieth century from the Latin American perspective. Building on the work of Nancy Leys Stepan, she uses Chilean eugenics as a lens to better understand larger issues such as the importance of racial homogeneity to national identity, gender as an organizing principle for social order, and Catholic efforts to integrate bioscience into a religious cosmogony. The manuscript demonstrates that eugenic science was far more open to Catholic interpretation and acceptance than might be expected, challenging the discursive bifurcation of religion and science in twentieth century conceptualizations of secularism and modernity.

Awards and honours

2012: Dissertation Award, Department of History, University of Maryland

2010-2011: National Science Foundation, Division of Social and Economic Sciences, Program in Science, Technology and Society, Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant

Presentations

2015

  • Latin American Studies Association Congress, San Juan. Answering the Social Question: Chilean Eugenics and Nation Building, May 27-30

2014

  • Unit for the History and Philosophy of Science, University of Sydney. Answering the Social Question: The Naturalistic Fallacy, Chilean Eugenics, and Nation Building, 27 October
  • Spotlight on Race and Ethnicity in the Global South, University of Sydney, Department of History. White Mestizos: Chile and Race in the Global South, 15 September
  • School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne. Writing the Pacific, Re-Writing Australia Symposium. Pacific Imaginations: Viewing Australia from Across the Pond, 12 September
  • Australian Historical Association Conference, University of Queensland. The Two Truths: Scientific-Religious Symbiosis in Chilean Eugenics, 1900-1940, 10 July
  • Association of Iberian & Latin American Studies of Australasia Conference, University of Sydney. The Two Truths: Chilean Catholic Characterizations of Eugenics, 4 July
  • Sydney University Research Community for Latin America, University of Sydney. Pacific Imaginations: Latin America and Australia from Across the Pond, 23 September
  • Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine, University of Sydney. “One of the Most Uniform Races of the Entire World”: Raza chilena and the Myth of Chilean Racial Homogeneity.

2013

  • Race and Ethnicity in the Global South, University of Sydney. Race, Reason, and Catholicism: The History of Science in Latin America 1900-1950.

Selected publications & creative works

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Journals

  • Walsh, S. (2015). One of the Most Uniform Races of the Entire World’: Creole Eugenics and the Myth of Chilean Racial Homogeneity. Journal of the History of Biology.
  • Walsh, S. (2015). Sharon M. Leon, An Image of God: The Catholic Struggle with Eugenics – Book Review. British Journal For The History Of Science, 48(1), 185-187.

Conferences

  • Walsh, S. (2013). Natural Partners: Eugenics and the Modernization of Chilean Gender Roles, 1900-1950. Latin American Studies Association Congress 2013, Washington DC USA: Latin American Studies Association Congress 2013.
  • Walsh, S. (2011). Las Dos Verdades: Catholic Characterizations of the Relationship between Religion & Science, 1910- 1940. Latin American Studies Center Graduate Conference 2011, University of Maryland, USA: Latin American Studies Center Graduate Conference 2011.
  • Walsh, S. (2010). Reason and Faith: A Study of Interwar Chilean Eugenic Discourse. Latin American Studies Center Summer Fellows Conference 2010, University of Maryland, USA: Latin American Studies Center Summer Fellows Conference 2010.
  • Walsh, S. (2008). Reason and Faith: The Catholic Church and Chilean Public Health Discourses, 1932-1936. 2nd Annual HGSA Graduate Student Conference 2008, University of Maryland, USA: 2nd Annual HGSA Graduate Student Conference 2008.
  • Walsh, S. (2007). Reason and Faith: The Catholic Church and Chilean Public Health Discourses, 1932-1936. III Latin American and the Caribbean Graduate Students Conference 2007, St Mary's Hall, University of Maryland, USA: III Latin American and the Caribbean Graduate Students Conference 2007.

Textual Creative Works

  • Walsh, S. (2014). Chile. Eugenics Archive, Canada: Eugenics Archive.

Magazine / Newspaper Articles

  • Walsh, S. (2014). The Other 9/11: Remembering Chile’s Descent into Dictatorship. Special Broadcasting Service Online.

Reference Works

  • Walsh, S. (2014). Chile – Revision. In Thomas Riggs (Eds.), Worldmark Encyclopedia of Religious Practices. Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA: Gale Research Inc.

2015

  • Walsh, S. (2015). One of the Most Uniform Races of the Entire World’: Creole Eugenics and the Myth of Chilean Racial Homogeneity. Journal of the History of Biology.
  • Walsh, S. (2015). Sharon M. Leon, An Image of God: The Catholic Struggle with Eugenics – Book Review. British Journal For The History Of Science, 48(1), 185-187.

2014

  • Walsh, S. (2014). Chile. Eugenics Archive, Canada: Eugenics Archive.
  • Walsh, S. (2014). Chile – Revision. In Thomas Riggs (Eds.), Worldmark Encyclopedia of Religious Practices. Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA: Gale Research Inc.
  • Walsh, S. (2014). The Other 9/11: Remembering Chile’s Descent into Dictatorship. Special Broadcasting Service Online.

2013

  • Walsh, S. (2013). Natural Partners: Eugenics and the Modernization of Chilean Gender Roles, 1900-1950. Latin American Studies Association Congress 2013, Washington DC USA: Latin American Studies Association Congress 2013.

2011

  • Walsh, S. (2011). Las Dos Verdades: Catholic Characterizations of the Relationship between Religion & Science, 1910- 1940. Latin American Studies Center Graduate Conference 2011, University of Maryland, USA: Latin American Studies Center Graduate Conference 2011.

2010

  • Walsh, S. (2010). Reason and Faith: A Study of Interwar Chilean Eugenic Discourse. Latin American Studies Center Summer Fellows Conference 2010, University of Maryland, USA: Latin American Studies Center Summer Fellows Conference 2010.

2008

  • Walsh, S. (2008). Reason and Faith: The Catholic Church and Chilean Public Health Discourses, 1932-1936. 2nd Annual HGSA Graduate Student Conference 2008, University of Maryland, USA: 2nd Annual HGSA Graduate Student Conference 2008.

2007

  • Walsh, S. (2007). Reason and Faith: The Catholic Church and Chilean Public Health Discourses, 1932-1936. III Latin American and the Caribbean Graduate Students Conference 2007, St Mary's Hall, University of Maryland, USA: III Latin American and the Caribbean Graduate Students Conference 2007.

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