Tom Shakespeare – Lives Unworthy of Life? Disability Pride Versus Eugenics


Event Date: 29 January 2020
Room B05
Birkbeck, University of London
Torrington Sq. entrance
Malet St
London WC1E 7HX

The Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism presents:

Professor  Tom Shakespeare (LSHTM) – Lives Unworthy of Life? Disability Pride Versus Eugenics

Professor Tom Shakespeare will discuss the international eugenics movement before and after 1900, and the euthanasia it resulted in during the Nazi regime. Norbert Elias authored The Civilising Process in 1939. By 1941, his own mother was murdered in the Holocaust. How can we combat hate crime and antisocial attacks on disabled people today? What does society require in order to maintain civilisation?

Tom Shakespeare is Professor of Disability Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. His books include Genetic Politics: From Eugenics to Genome, and he is a co-author of the World Report on Disability (WHO 2011). In 2019, he co-authored a report on bioethics for the UN Special Rapporteur on Disability.

This event is one of a series in ‘From Small Beginnings…’, a cross-institutional and interdisciplinary programme of presentations and workshops exploring the history and continuing influences of the development of eugenics. For more information visit or email the Programme Curator, Benedict Ipgrave at


Welcome by Professor David Feldman (Director, Pears Institute):

Welcome by Professor David Ruebain (Birkbeck):
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