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Measuring the Master Race

Jon Røyne Kyllingstad


Jon Røyne Kyllingstad

Texte intégral

1The work that resulted in this book began with a master’s thesis submitted to the Department of History at the University of Oslo in the spring of 2001. This was later rewritten into the book Kortskaller og langskaller (Short Skulls and Long Skulls), published in Norwegian in 2004 and now reworked and expanded into this English edition.

2While working with the first version of the book I was affiliated to the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture (the TIK centre), the Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History and the Forum for University History at the University of Oslo. I also spent some brief, but important periods of time in the Department of Anatomy at the University of Oslo, where Anatomy Professor Per Holck gave me access to the anthropological book collection and database.

3The writing and publication of Kortskaller og langskaller received financial support from the Norwegian Non-Fiction Writers and Translators Organisation, the TIK Centre, the Forum for University History, the Norwegian Historical Association and the Fritt Ord Foundation. The translation and publication of the English edition is financially supported by NORLA (the Norwegian Literature Abroad Foundation) and by Norsk Teknisk Museum, Norway’s national museum for science, technology and medicine.

4It was Erika Hagelberg who first came up with the idea of an English version. She also helped me approach potential publishers and has given invaluable advice, help and criticism during the process of rewriting the book for a non-Norwegian audience.

5This book is not an English translation of the original Norwegian work. Most of it has been thoroughly rewritten for a new audience and to incorporate new material and new perspectives. Since the publication of Kortskaller og langskaller, I have done more research on topics related to the history of Norwegian physical anthropology and racial science. My doctoral thesis Menneskeåndens universalitet (The Psychological Unity of Humanity) dealt with the political context and institutional framework of Norwegian physical anthropology and adjacent disciplines, such as archaeology. After receiving my doctoral degree, I was involved in writing a multi-volume work on the history of the University of Oslo. This gave me new insight into the institutions under whose auspices physical anthropological research was undertaken. Insights from both the doctoral work and the university history project are incorporated into this book.

6A number of people over the years have contributed their ideas, constructive criticism, professional and psychological support, among them Trond Haug, Christine Myrvang, Kjartan Soltvedt, Tore Tennøe, Jorunn Sem Fure, Knut Kjeldstadli, John Peter Collett, Ole Anders Røberg, Per Haave, Hege Roll-Hansen, Ketil Gjølme Andersen, Anne Vaalund, Nils Roll-Hansen, Ingvild Kyllingstad, Ageliki Lefkaditou and Ottar Dahl. I am also very grateful to Tim Challmann for his invaluable linguistic help with this English-language edition. I am particularly indebted to Robert Marc Friedman at the IAKH (UiO), who was my supervisor for many years; to Torben Hviid Nielsen, Arve Monsen and Fredrik Thue who, through critical reading and thoughtful feedback, have contributed immensely to my work; and last but not least to Erika Hagelberg, without whom this book would never have seen the light of day.

7Finally, I am greatly indebted to Ragne, Tora and Ingvild, who have had the demanding task of sharing a family life with the author during all these years.

8Oslo, 6 November 2014


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