Building a Better Race

Author: Wendy Kline
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520246748
Format: PDF, Mobi
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"Building a Better Race powerfully demonstrates the centrality of eugenics during the first half of the twentieth century. Kline persuasively uncovers eugenics' unexpected centrality to modern assumptions about marriage, the family, and morality, even as late as the 1950s. The book is full of surprising connections and stories, and provides crucial new perspectives illuminating the history of eugenics, gender and normative twentieth-century sexuality."—Gail Bederman, author of Manliness and Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the US, 1880-1917 "A strikingly fresh approach to eugenics.... Kline's work places eugenicists squarely at the center of modern reevaluations of females sexuality, sexual morality in general, changing gender roles, and modernizing family ideology. She insists that eugenic ideas had more power and were less marginal in public discourse than other historians have indicated."—Regina Morantz-Sanchez, author of Conduct Unbecoming a Woman: Medicine on Trial in Turn-of-the-Century Brooklyn

The Sterilization Movement and Global Fertility in the Twentieth Century

Author: Ian R. Dowbiggin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190293330
Format: PDF
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Many would be surprised to learn that the preferred method of birth control in the United States today is actually surgical sterilization. This book takes an historical look at the sterilization movement in post-World War II America, a revolution in modern contraceptive behavior. Focusing on leaders of the sterilization movement from the 1930's through the turn of the century, this book explores the historic linkages between environment, civil liberties, eugenics, population control, sex education, marriage counseling, and birth control movements in the 20th-century United States. Sterilization has been variously advocated as a medical procedure for defusing the "population bomb," expanding individual rights, liberating women from the fear of pregnancy, strengthening marriage, improving the quality of life of the mentally disabled, or reducing the incidence of hereditary disorders. From an historical standpoint, support for free and unfettered access to sterilization services has aroused opposition in some circles, and was considered a "liberal cause" in post-World War II America. This story demonstrates how a small group of reformers helped to alter traditional notions of gender and sexuality.

Facing Eugenics

Author: Erika Dyck
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
ISBN: 1442699345
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Facing Eugenics is a social history of sexual sterilization operations in twentieth-century Canada. Looking at real-life experiences of men and women who, either coercively or voluntarily, participated in the largest legal eugenics program in Canada, it considers the impact of successive legal policies and medical practices on shaping our understanding of contemporary reproductive rights. The book also provides deep insights into the broader implications of medical experimentation, institutionalization, and health care in North America. Erika Dyck uses a range of historical evidence, including medical files, court testimony, and personal records to place mental health and intelligence at the centre of discussions regarding reproductive fitness. Examining acts of resistance alongside heavy-handed decisions to sterilize people considered “unfit,” Facing Eugenics illuminates how reproductive rights fit into a broader discussion of what constitutes civil liberties, modern feminism, and contemporary psychiatric survivor and disability activism.

Inventing America s Worst Family

Author: Nathaniel Deutsch
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520255240
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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"Inventing America's Worst Family is an important, refreshing, and interesting work. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this account is its placement at the center of a larger narrative about America's obsession with Orientalism. The story emerges gracefully and compellingly; Deutsch clearly presents new material and has gone to great efforts to track what actually became of the Ishmael group, and its origins."—Wendy Kline, author of Building a Better Race: Gender, Sexuality, and Eugenics from the Turn of the Century to the Baby Boom "This is one of the most intriguing, imaginative works of history I've read in quite some time. Inventing America's Worst Family advances historical scholarship on poverty and eugenics in compelling ways, with its deep analysis of institutional realities and cultural trends. Deutsch combines a terrific story with his own impressive narrative talent; the book is ingeniously conceived, brilliantly researched, and beautifully told!"—J. Terry Todd, Drew University

Health in the City

Author: Tanya Hart
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1479873063
Format: PDF, Docs
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Shortly after the dawn of the twentieth century, the New York City Department of Health decided to address what it perceived as the racial nature of health. It delivered heavily racialized care in different neighborhoods throughout the city: syphillis treatment among African Americans, tuberculosis for Italian Americans, and so on. It was a challenging and ambitious program, dangerous for the providers, and troublingly reductive for the patients. Nevertheless, poor and working-class African American, British West Indian, and Southern Italian women all received some of the nation’s best health care during this period. Health in the City challenges traditional ideas of early twentieth-century urban black health care by showing a program that was simultaneously racialized and cutting-edge. It reveals that even the most well-meaning public health programs may inadvertently reinforce perceptions of inferiority that they were created to fix.

Hideous Progeny

Author: Angela Smith
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231527853
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Twisted bodies, deformed faces, aberrant behavior, and abnormal desires characterized the hideous creatures of classic Hollywood horror, which thrilled audiences with their sheer grotesqueness. Most critics have interpreted these traits as symptoms of sexual repression or as metaphors for other kinds of marginalized identities, yet Angela M. Smith conducts a richer investigation into the period's social and cultural preoccupations. She finds instead a fascination with eugenics and physical and cognitive debility in the narrative and spectacle of classic 1930s horror, heightened by the viewer's desire for visions of vulnerability and transformation. Reading such films as Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), Freaks (1932), and Mad Love (1935) against early-twentieth-century disability discourse and propaganda on racial and biological purity, Smith showcases classic horror's dependence on the narratives of eugenics and physiognomics. She also notes the genre's conflicted and often contradictory visualizations. Smith ultimately locates an indictment of biological determinism in filmmakers' visceral treatments, which take the impossibility of racial improvement and bodily perfection to sensationalistic heights. Playing up the artifice and conventions of disabled monsters, filmmakers exploited the fears and yearnings of their audience, accentuating both the perversity of the medical and scientific gaze and the debilitating experience of watching horror. Classic horror films therefore encourage empathy with the disabled monster, offering captive viewers an unsettling encounter with their own impairment. Smith's work profoundly advances cinema and disability studies, in addition to general histories concerning the construction of social and political attitudes toward the Other.

Pregnancy and Power

Author: Rickie Solinger
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814741193
Format: PDF, Kindle
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A sweeping chronicle of women's battles for reproductive freedom throughout American history, Pregnancy and Power explores the many forces—social, racial, economic, and political—that have shaped women’s reproductive lives in the United States. Leading historian Rickie Solinger argues that a woman’s control over her body involves much more than the right to choose an abortion. Reproductive politics were at play when slaveholders devised breeding schemes, when the U.S. government took Indian children from their families in the nineteenth century, and when doctors pressed Latina women to be sterilized in the 1970s. Tracing the diverse plot lines of women’s reproductive lives throughout American history, Solinger redefines the idea of reproductive freedom, putting race and class at the center of the effort to control sex and pregnancy in America over time. Solinger asks which women have how many children under what circumstances, and shows how reproductive experiences have been encouraged or coerced, rewarded or punished, honored or exploited over the last 250 years. Viewed in this way, the debate over reproductive rights raises questions about access to sex education and prenatal care, about housing laws, about access to citizenship, and about which women lose children to adoption and foster care. Pregnancy and Power shows that a complete understanding of reproductive politics must take into account the many players shaping public policy—lawmakers, educators, employers, clergy, physicians—as well as the consequences for women who obey and resist these policies. Tracing the diverse plotlines of women's reproductive lives throughout American history, Solinger redefines the idea of reproductive freedom, putting race and class at the center of the struggle to control sex and pregnancy in America.

Eugenic Design

Author: Christina Cogdell
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812221222
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In 1939, Vogue magazine invited commercial designer Raymond Loewy and eight of his contemporaries—including Walter Dorwin Teague, Egmont Arens, and Henry Dreyfuss—to design a dress for the "Woman of the Future" as part of its special issue promoting the New York World's Fair and its theme, "The World of Tomorrow." While focusing primarily on her clothing and accessories, many commented as well on the future woman's physique, predicting that her body and mind would be perfected through the implementation of eugenics. Industrial designers' fascination with eugenics—especially that of Norman Bel Geddes—began during the previous decade, and its principles permeated their theories of the modern design style known as "streamlining." In Eugenic Design, Christina Cogdell charts new territory in the history of industrial design, popular science, and American culture in the 1930s by uncovering the links between streamline design and eugenics, the pseudoscientific belief that the best human traits could—and should—be cultivated through selective breeding. Streamline designers approached products the same way eugenicists approached bodies. Both considered themselves to be reformers advancing evolutionary progress through increased efficiency, hygiene and the creation of a utopian "ideal type." Cogdell reconsiders the popular streamline style in U.S. industrial design and proposes that in theory, rhetoric, and context the style served as a material embodiment of eugenic ideology. With careful analysis and abundant illustrations, Eugenic Design is an ambitious reinterpretation of one of America's most significant and popular design forms, ultimately grappling with the question of how ideology influences design.

Popular Eugenics

Author: Susan Currell
Publisher: Ohio University Press
ISBN: 082141691X
Format: PDF, Docs
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In a series of revealing essays, Popular Eugenics demonstrates that eugenic thought persisted in science and culture as well as in social policy and goes a long way toward explaining the durability of eugenic thinking and its effects on social policy in the United States.

Colonizing Leprosy

Author: Michelle T. Moran
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469606739
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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By comparing institutions in Hawai'i and Louisiana designed to incarcerate individuals with a highly stigmatized disease, Colonizing Leprosy provides an innovative study of the complex relationship between U.S. imperialism and public health policy in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Focusing on the Kalaupapa Settlement in Moloka'i and the U.S. National Leprosarium in Carville, Michelle Moran shows not only how public health policy emerged as a tool of empire in America's colonies, but also how imperial ideologies and racial attitudes shaped practices at home. Although medical personnel at both sites considered leprosy a colonial disease requiring strict isolation, Moran demonstrates that they adapted regulations developed at one site for use at the other by changing rules to conform to ideas of how "natives" and "Americans" should be treated. By analyzing administrators' decisions, physicians' treatments, and patients' protests, Moran examines the roles that gender, race, ethnicity, and sexuality played in shaping both public opinion and health policy. Colonizing Leprosy makes an important contribution to an understanding of how imperial imperatives, public health practices, and patient activism informed debates over the constitution and health of American bodies.