The Transylvanian Museum of Ethnography, a public cultural institution functioning under the authority of the Cluj County Council, invites you on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, at 17:00, to the opening of the exhibition Science and Ethnicity III, which will take place in the Cellarium Gallery of the Transylvanian Museum of Ethnography (21 Memorandum Street). Curator of the exhibition: Prof. Marius Turda (Oxford Brookes University).
The partners of this exhibition project are: the Centre for the History of Eugenics and Racism, Confront Eugenics, Oxford Brookes University, the Institute for the Investigation of the Crimes of Communism and the Memory of the Romanian Exile, the “Nicolae Iorga” History Institute, the Romanian Academy - Cluj-Napoca Branch – the “George Barițiu” History Institute.
“This third exhibition in the Science and Ethnicity series focuses on Romania from the late 1940’s to the early 1970’s. It aims to identify both continuities and discontinuities in the debate on race and racism, as compared to the previous period, such as they could be traced in the first two exhibitions from this series.
After 1945, Romania entered a period of Soviet military occupation which meant, among others, the political imprisonment of the cultural elites and a drastic purge of the scientific institutions. At the same time, anthropology, medicine and genetics were officially condemned as being “bourgeois”, while theories of heredity, such as those of Gregor Mendel and T. H. Morgan, were replaced by the pseudo-scientific models proposed by T. D. Lysenko and Olga Lepesinskaia. The contours of a new approach, in anthropology and the other human sciences, gradually began to become more and more obvious. In line with the Soviet model, the aim of these new approaches was to reassert the pre-eminence of the social over the biological and to re-evaluate the historical importance of collectivity. However, there were Romanian scientists who made efforts to adapt the interwar methodologies (especially the anthropological method proposed by Francisc Rainer and the monographic method developed by Dimitrie Gusti) to the new Soviet-inspired scientific environment. They wanted to highlight the importance of their anthropological research for the development of the new communist concepts about man and society. For these reasons, the re-institutionalization of physical anthropology as a scientific discipline in Romania, beginning with the 1950’s, dominated by Ștefan-Marius Milcu in Bucharest and Olga Necrasov in Iași, and the official acceptance of Darwinism and, then, of human genetics in the 1960’s must be understood within their specific ideological frameworks. After all, this was the period when the ambitions of the political regime in Romania were to build a new socialist society. Moreover, this biopolitical socialist programme was embraced without hesitation by anthropologists, sociologists, doctors and biologists, who adopted it as an essential element of their scientific research.” (Professor Dr. Marius Turda, Oxford Brookes University, UK).
The exhibition will be open from March 28 - April 15, 2023, from Wednesday to Sunday, from 10 am - 6 pm, last entry at 5 pm.