Modern Colonization by Medical Intervention adds to our understanding of the political and economic transformations establishing colonial modernity in Puerto Rico. By focusing on influential physicians’ clinical work and their access to a remote and inaccessible rural population, this volume details how rural areas suffered the ravages of social dislocation, unemployment and hunger. The colonial administration’s hookworm campaign involved many Puerto Rican physicians in complex struggles with other elites, rural peasants and U.S. colonial administrators for political legitimacy. Puerto Rican physicians did not gain the professional autonomy their counterparts in the United States enjoyed. Instead, they became centrally implicated in the struggle between labor and capital enforcing the island’s subordination to a colonial modernity and the development of capitalism on the island.
Before it became established as an academic discipline, physical anthropology emerged as a contested notion of reference to the cosmological views associated with the Darwinian theory of evolution and its implementation by the natural sciences. However, its subsequent development points to a science which made holistic claims regarding its ability to explore humankind in its entirety and to influence society, with its involvement in politics, as well as racial and eugenic concepts serving as the vehicle for doing so. This book explores the emergence of physical anthropology in the modern Greek state and its development over a period of one century from the viewpoint of the proclaimed intention of its representatives to influence societal developments. The book is the first to subject Greek racial and eugenic discourse to detailed research.