Research and Creative Coffee is a series of events aimed to be a platform for discussions about publications, projects and working papers of AAU Faculty as well as AAU students.
The upcoming event planned for November 8th, starting at 10 am, in Room 1.33, will be devoted to the research paper: “Science or Fake News? Aleš Hrdlička And Czech Propaganda in World War I” , by Mark A. Brandon.
Please register using this link!
(Only registered participants will receive the full paper)
Abstract of the paper:
In March, 1917 National Geographic Magazine published an article called “Bohemia and the Czechs” by the internationally renowned physical anthropologist and Czech immigrant Aleš Hrdlička (1869–1943). As the Curator of Physical Anthropology at the prestigious Smithsonian Institution for four decades (1910–1941) and the founder of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology (1918), Hrdlička was a serious scientist. Although appealing to a popular readership, The National Geographic is still known today for its equally serious scientific themes. It would have been very easy for readers in 1917 to think Hrdlička’s article was the result of careful anthropological research. It was not.
Using previously unexamined archival sources, this talk will show that Hrdlička’s widely read article was not the product of scientific research but instead part of a carefully constructed propaganda campaign designed to manipulate the American public. The plan was to convince the United States, which was neutral in World War I until April, 1917, to support the dismemberment of Austria Hungary and the creation of an independent Czechoslovakian state. A network of agents, some of whom were working for Great Britain, conspired to influence the American public and its government to support this distant foreign cause, which was probably unknown to most Americans. One tactic, which Tomáš Masaryk openly discussed, was to “plant” friendly articles in important periodicals. Hrdlička’s National Geographic article was part of this strategy, and propaganda, not scholarship, was its motivation.
*This event is open to the public.