UCLA » College » Social Sciences » History
May 2, 2022
4:00pm to 5:30pm
5288 Bunche Hall

May 2 Alexandra Minna Stern (University of Michigan)

"From State Coercion to Reparative Justice? Histories and Legacies of Eugenics and Sterilization in California"

Zoom RSVP: https://ucla.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEvdOmqrjojEtRUCEXGyTS_3KjPNovF6r6L

In Person RSVP: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1VuNtVVC2wj5HhtXpY9FXKdf43Tgp4W118aSpFY95x-E

This talk explores the history and legacies of eugenics and coerced sterilization in California from three angles. First, I provide an overview of the archival and collaborative research involved in reconstructing the demographic and contextual history of compulsory sterilization during the era of eugenic legislation (1909-1979). Second, I discuss the relevance of this history to contemporary issues in society and genetics, ranging from debates over acceptable building names on university campuses to the insidious biases of some reprogenetic technologies. Finally, I conclude by reflecting on the benefits and limits of reparations for eugenics, with specific attention to the recently implemented compensation program for survivors of coerced sterilizations in state-run homes, hospitals, and prisons in California.