'Great progress and evolution': the 1911 Australasian Medical Congress and fin de siècle nation building in Australia

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The fin de siècle imagination in Australia in the years between 1890 and the outbreak of World War I in 1914 reflected the influence of movements that emerged from the mid-19th century. Socialism and alternative religious faiths, and the emergence of ideas and therapies affecting medicine and the sciences, ranging from social Darwinism to psychology, generated hopes of boundless opportunity and intensified anxieties about the future. The transactions of the Australasian Medical Congress (AMC), held in Sydney in September 1911, provide a significant insight into the tension between promoting apparently rational progress while identifying illegitimate alternatives that had to be suppressed. By 1911 the Australian medical profession believed it played a vital role in defining these discriminations, not only in promoting a healthy population but also in the name of nation building.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-79
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of the Royal Australian Historical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

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