How do you create an interactive and multi-modal digital platform about histories of eugenics and sterilization with restricted historical records? This talk reviews my team’s creation of a dataset of 20,000 sterilization recommendations processed by the state of California from the 1920s and 1950s, and discuss how we are building digital platforms with Mapquest and Scalar that seek to convey complex demographic patterns, institutional histories, and personal experiences of reproductive loss. In this talk we will explore varied issues including interdisciplinary collaboration, document preservation and management, and digital storytelling.
Alexandra Minna SternAlexandra Minna Stern, Ph.D. is Professor of American Culture, with appointments in Obstetrics and Gynecology, History, and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan. She also is a core faculty member in the Latina/o Studies Program; the Science, Technology, and Society Program; directs the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies/Brazil Initiative, and co-directs the Reproductive Justice Faculty Program at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender. Her research has focused on the uses and misuses of genetics in the United States and Latin America. She is the author of Eugenic Nation: Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in Modern America (University of California Press, 2005), which won the American Public Health Association’s Arthur Viseltear Award for outstanding contribution to the history of public health, and is coming out in a 2nd and expanded edition in December 2015. Her latest book, Telling Genes: The Story of Genetic Counseling in America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012) is a Choice 2013 Outstanding Academic Title in Health Sciences. She has held numerous grants for her work in medical history and health policy, including from the National Endowment for the Humanities (1 for digital archiving), National Institutes of Health, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is currently leading a project to create a dataset of 20,000 eugenic sterilization orders processed by the state of California in the 20th century and is principal investigator on 2 Ford Foundation grants to assess the status of reproductive justice and LBGTQ youth and youth of color empowerment in Michigan.