Ken is interested in History of physical anthropology, racial studies, eugenics and medicine.
1982-1986 University of Tartu, biology (unfinished);
1986-1993 University of Tartu, history (archaeology / physical anthropology), B. A. degree;
1994-1995 Central European University, Budapest (Medieval studies), M.A. degree.
Research and professional experience:
From 1988 archaeologist / physical anthropologist at different archaeological sites in Tartu and Southern-Estonia. Employed by various institutions incl. the Estonian Academy of Sciences and the Estonian Society of Natural Heritage;
1995-2002 director of scientific research, Tartu University History Museum;
2002-2005 head of the Chair of Strategy, Estonian National Defence College;
2005– lecturer, Institute of Public Health, Medical Faculty, Univ. of Tartu.
Research interests: History of physical anthropology, racial studies, eugenics and medicine.
In this lecture, Ken Kalling investigates the themes and agents that sought to biologize Estonian national thought between the turn of 19th century and the Second World War. Ken argues that Estonian eugenics’ popular appeal lay with its ability to constitute the lowest common denominator adjoining popular scientific knowledge, populism, and social reasoning. Analysing how a small nation’s self perception broached the questions of how to regulate the quality and quantity of it’s ‘stock’, and the influence exerted by its substantial pre-independence anti-alcohol movement, Ken traces the institutionalisation of Estonian eugenics from the 1924 creation of the ‘Estonian Eugenics Society’ unto the 1940 Soviet rescinding of the country’s eugenic legislation.
(with Erki Tammiksaar.) “Descent versus Extinction: The Reception of Darwinism in Estonia.” E.-M. Engels, and T. F. Glick (eds.). The Reception of Charles Darwin in Europe (vol. 1). London & New York: Continuum Publishers, 2008: pp. 217-229.
“The Self-Perception of Small Nation: The Reception of Eugenics in Interwar Estonia.” Paul Weindling, and Marius Turda (eds.). Blood and Homeland: Eugenics and Racial Nationalism in Central and Southeast Europe, 1900–1940. Budapest: Central European University Press, 2007: pp. 253-262.
“Estonian Psychiatric Hospitals During the German Occupation (1941–1944).” International Journal of Mental Health 36(1) 2007: pp. 95-104.
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