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Professor Alexandra Stern will discuss the current bill being considered in the California legislature to compensate survivors of the state’s 20th century eugenic sterilization program. She will explore the genesis of historical scholarship that informs this bill, which is based in her Sterilization and Social Justice Lab (at the University of Michigan) and encompasses qualitative and quantitative methods and humanistic approaches. In addition to reflecting on how historical research can impulse social justice efforts, she will discuss compensation as a form of restorative justice that has the potential to redress past state harm and medical malfeasance, and shape how this dark chapter of California’s history is remembered and memorialized.
Alexandra Minna Stern, Ph.D. is Professor of American Culture and History, with appointments in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan. She also is a core faculty member in the Latina/o Studies Program and the Science, Technology, and Society Program. Her research has focused on the uses and misuses of genetics in the United States and Latin America. She is the author of the award-winning Eugenic Nation: Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in Modern America which was published in second edition by University of California Press in 2015. Her latest book, Telling Genes: The Story of Genetic Counseling in America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012) was a Choice 2013 Outstanding Academic Title in Health Sciences. She leads the Sterilization and Social Justice Lab, which studies qualitative and quantitative patterns of eugenic sterilization in twentieth-century California; this research is informing policy efforts to provide redress to survivors of compulsory sterilization. Stern has held numerous grants for her work in medical history and health policy, including from the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Institutes of Health, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Co-Sponsored by Stanford Biolaw & Health Policy, Stanford Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, and Law Students for Disability Rights.
Lunch will be provided