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Critical Intersections: Conversations on History, Race, and Science

Friday, October 30, 2020
12:00pm to 2:00pm
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Online Event
Histories of Eugenics: The Human Betterment Foundation and Beyond
Natalie Lira, University of Illinois,
Ayah Nuriddin, Johns Hopkins University,
Alexandra Minna Stern, University of Michigan,
Sandy Rodriguez, Independent Artist,
Virginia Espino, UCLA,


This panel of experts on the history of eugenics will discuss the relationships between eugenics, sterilization, incarceration, race, gender, and disability. In addition to the Human Betterment Foundation, which advocated for the expansion of California's coercive sterilization program and shared leaders with Caltech in the 1930s, they will discuss African American engagement with eugenics, relationships between eugenics and universities, California's disproportionate institutionalization and sterilization of Mexican-origin women and men in the early 20th century, and sterilization at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center in the 1970s.

Artist Sandy Rodriguez will create a printed artwork in conversation with the topic. This will be mailed to early registrants who provide their mailing addresses when registering for the Zoom. The number of prints will be extremely limited, so please register early if you hope to receive one.

To RSVP for this event, click here.

For its inaugural year of 2020-2021, the "Critical Intersections: Conversations on Race, History, and Science" seminar series is dedicated to the history leading up to and beyond eugenics. The events are jointly organized by faculty in the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences [Maura Dykstra (Assistant Professor of History), Jennifer Jahner (Professor of English), and Hillary Mushkin (Research Professor of Art and Design)] and University Archivist Peter Collopy. Artists have been invited to participate in these events as part of the Caltech-Huntington Program in Visual Culture. Their participation in this series is supported by the James Michelin Distinguished Visitors Program.

For more information, please contact Cecilia Lu by email at [email protected].