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Victoria Shmidt

Victoria Shmidt is historian and leader of the research project “Race science: Undiscovered Power of Building the Nations” funded by the FWF/Austrian Science Fund (Lise-Meitner-Programme).

Curriculum Vitae – Victoria Shmidt MSc PhD

Victoria Shmidt brings together the issue of historical roots of segregation with the legacy of colonial and socialist policies in Central Eastern European countries. Victoria started her academic career in Russia, and this period formed part of her broader interest in the historical roots of ongoing institutional violence against diverse disfranchised groups. In 2008, Victoria transferred to the Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, and began to elaborate the issue of institutional violence against the Roma and people with disabilities in the Czech lands. It has led her to deepening the approaches towards race science and racial thinking as agents and structures of nation-building and inclined to revise the spatial, temporal and ideological borders in the taken-for-granted approaches toward the role of researchers and academic institutions in the most extremal forms of transgression. In 2019 Victoria started her project at SEEHA (Southeastern European History and Anthropology) – University of Graz.

Areas of Research and Teaching:

Historizing race science in Eastern Southern Europe: transforming eugenics into genetics and physical anthropology into population studies, implications of race science in public health, education and mass culture as well as politics concerning minorities.

Current Research:

“Race science: Undiscovered Power of Building the Nations”.

This project focuses on Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia; the countries where nationalism developed from being peripheral to becoming unified. Along with this comparability, the credible evidences of inter-country cooperation among racially minded scholars of these countries incline to recognize a complex transnational setting of race science, which ensured the reproduction of race science in these countries after 1945. By gathering and interpreting data about the most prominent scholars and academic projects, the project explores how race science at intra-country and global levels responded to the most urgent calls pertaining to nation-building.

(Recent) publications:

SHMIDT, Victoria (Ed.) . The Politics of Disability in Interwar and Socialist Czechoslovakia Segregating in the Name of the Nation. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2019. 252 s. Heritage and Memory Studies 8.

SHMIDT, Victoria. Public health as an agent of internal colonialism in interwar Czechoslovakia: shaping the discourse about the nation’s children. Patterns of Prejudice, Anglie: Routledge, 2018, 52, 4, pp. 355-387.

SHMIDT, Victoria. The Politics of Surveillance in the Interwar Czechoslovak Periphery: The Role of Campaigns Against Infectious Diseases. Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung. Journal of East Central European Studies., Marburg, 2019, 68, 1, pp. 29-56.

Research Profile



Victoria Shmidt

Southeast European History and Anthropology

Mozartgasse 3/I, 8010 Graz

Phone:+43 316 380 - 8117

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