Eugenics and Social Biology at LSE Library: An Introduction

Sidney and Beatrice Webb were eugenicists and in 1909 Sidney Webb gave a talk at the Eugenics Education Society called Eugenics and the Poor Law. The talk centred on the eugenic arguments for having a relief system in place to aide the poor as opposed to leaving people to fend for themselves which it was considered would have undesirable eugenic consequences. Another element of critique was the general mixed workhouse which enabled poor men and women to mix and have children, something that, according to Webb, had ‘undesirable results from the eugenic point of view’.

Decolonising Library Collections: Towards inclusive collections policies

The Course Collection contains short loan titles that are primarily used for teaching and are included on reading lists. We discovered that 98.44% of titles in this collection (n=31,628) are published in the Global North. 93.7% of the Course Collection is published in just two countries; the United Kingdom and the United States. India, South Africa, China and the Philippines are the only Global South countries in the first twenty, and often these are in the very low double figures of titles.

Diversity helps but decolonisation is the key to equality in higher education

Diversity reinforces the existing unjust system, decolonisation challenges it. Diversity authorises the advantaged, decolonisation empowers the underrepresented and undervalued. Diversity seeks to include people, decolonisation seeks to rehabilitate them. Diversity is for the mainstream, decolonisation is against the mainstream. All in all, however, none of these are to say that diversity is a horrible thing, it is rather to underscore that diversity without decolonisation is not enough to bring equality and fairness into higher education.

Redesigning Trafalgar Square : Reflections on postcoloniality, learner identity and pedagogy

Jayaraj Sundaresan writes: This fundamental coloniality of the Trafalgar square neither figured in the studio brief, our group and class discussions nor in our analysis and design proposals serious enough to affect us as individual learners with specific identity, life history, and political possibility for learning to do planning and design. I wondered for a long time what did I really ‘learn’ from that exercise then, especially on ‘reading’ the public space.

Eugenics and the Academy in Britain: Confronting Historical Amnesia at the LSE

Shikha Dilawri writes: as a ‘neutral’, ‘scientific’ set of principles, eugenics neatly aligned with the ‘scientific’ approach towards examining society that was championed by the Webbs and the other members of the Fabian Society, as well as what they prescribed for the betterment of society: that is, collectivism, state intervention, and social planning.

Turning the LSE Upside Down: reflections on movements to decolonise the university

Julia Corwin discusses the LSE globe and the controversies around it as demonstrating the importance of decolonising projects in universities across in the world: “This begins with a searing and uncomfortable look at how universities in the Global North create, support and perpetuate economic policies and ‘development’ programs that are founded in a neo-colonial view of the world. Decolonising the university begins with critiquing and changing what it means to create ‘experts’ in London that then spread their supposed expertise globally.”