The preliminary schedule is below. For a complete schedule and access to the convening, please register here.
Sunday, September 26: Pre-convening symposium
Symposium: From Galton to Osborn: The International Legacies of Eugenics
This online symposium is an anti-centennial for the Second International Eugenics Congress of 1921. It traces the internationalization of eugenics from the movement’s founder Frances Galton at University College London, through to Henry Osborn’s opening speech at the Second Congress. It explores the repercussions of ideas generated and promoted at the Congress, how their influence has been felt throughout the world and continues to this day. The symposium considers how to address the legacies of eugenics, and promote an alternative anti-eugenics way of life, across nations and regions today. Organized by Benedict Ipgrave and the From Small Beginnings team.
11:00 am: Welcome: Milton Reynolds (San Francisco State University)
How the concept of transitional justice provides a model on which to build an anti-eugenic future.
11:10am: Discussion: Galton, Bloomsbury, and the birth of eugenics
Subhadra Das (former Curator, the Galton Collection), guides us through the birth of eugenics in London, discussing original artifacts relating to its founder, Frances Galton, and how Galton’s academic home, University College London is confronting its legacy. She is joined by Angela Saini (author, Superior: The Return of Race Science), and Nora Groce, (Director, Disability Research Centre, University College London)
12:10pm: Keynote: Marius Turda (Director, Centre for Medical Humanities, Oxford Brookes University)
Marius Turda discusses the upcoming exhibition, “We Are Not Alone: The Legacies of Eugenics,” which invites audiences to engage with the international legacies of eugenics and reflect on what they mean for us today.
12:45- 4pm: Panel Series: Global Eugenics
12:45: Panel: Eugenics across Europe
Chair: Marius Turda, with Maria Sophia Quine, Francesco Cassata, Richard Cleminson, Bolaji Balogun, and Angelique Richardson.
1:50 pm: Panel: Eugenics Across the Global South
Chair: Philippa Levine, with Asha Nadkarni, Betsy Hartmann, Mark Bookman, Rob Wilson and Themba Lonzi.
2:50pm: Panel: Eugenics Across the Americas
Chair: Miroslava Chavez-Garcia, with Erika Dyck, Susan Antebi, Natalie Lira and Paul Vanouse.
4:05pm: Talk: The Eugenics Tree, and the anti-Eugenics Witness Tree: The anti-centennial through tapestries
Judy Dow (Abenaki and French Canadian artist, educator, and basket-maker) shares her tapestries about the “eugenics tree” logo developed for the Second Congress, and her counterpart Witness Tree tapestries. As the tapestries demonstrate, like a tree, Anti-Eugenics draws from sources and transforms them into unity of mind and heart.
4:15: Closing Remarks and Performance
Milton Reynolds brings together the themes of the day, and discusses Henry Osborn’s opening address to the Second Congress.
Monday, September 27: Legacies
Chief Vincent Mann, Turtle Clan Chief of the Ramapough Lenape Nation, which encompasses Passaic County NJ, Warwick and surrounding areas in New York, opens the Dismantling Eugenics Convening with a welcome and blessing. Hosts Judith Heumann (disability rights activist) and Jim LeBrecht (filmmaker, sound designer, and disability rights activist) frame the day’s proceedings, followed by a Keynote discussion with Joy Harjo (23rd Poet Laureate of the United States) and Rick West (Founding Director, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian) exploring the deep, unresolved issues facing North American Indigenous peoples. Featured artists across the day include Nicholas Galanin (Tlingi/Unangax̂, multi-disciplinary artist) and Tiny (Poor Magazine). The afternoon sessions include: Through-Line Panel 1 featuring Tristan Ahtone (Kiowa, Editor-in-Chief, Texas Observer) and Robert Lee (Prof. of History, University of Cambridge, UK) focusing on the Indigenous lands “Land Grant” universities, including Cornell and Rutgers, that profited from the Morrill Acts (1862, 1890); and a Symposium on the 2nd & 3rd Eugenics Congress (Part I). The evening sessions include artistic offerings by members of Sins Invalid and Nomy Lamm, as well as Mead Moments (Part I) featuring topic-related films and discussions specially curated by the American Museum of Natural History.
Tuesday, September 28: Legacies
Day Two of the Convening begins with a morning Welcome, followed by host K. Wayne Young (Provost and Professor of Ethnic Studies, University of California, San Diego) framing the scope of the day. Sander Gilman (Distinguished Professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences, Professor of Psychiatry, Emory University) delivers a Keynote exploring how ableist perceptions of bodies perpetuated eugenic ideas and notions of what is “healthy. Rana A. Hogarth (Associate Professor, History Department, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) offers a Lunch Time Special presentation on the role of anti-Black racism in the production of scientific knowledge in the early twentieth century, followed by Special Sessions from Marius Turda (Director, Centre for Medical Humanities, Oxford Brookes University), who will uncover how Charles Davenport, a biologist, and Madison Grant, a zoologist, wielded their areas of expertise towards upholding the eugenicist mission, and N. Ordover (Author & Activist) who will focus on the legacy of the Pioneer Fund, founded in 1937 and still in operation, which sought to promote “race betterment” for “white persons who settled in the original thirteen states prior to the adoption of the Constitution”. Ewa Luczak (Associate Professor, Department of North American Cultures and Literatures, University of Warsaw) offers readings and interpretations of the Great Gatsby, demonstrating how writers and artists of the era incorporated eugenics politics and beliefs into their work. Through-Line Panel 2 includes presentations by Susan Schweik (Author, The Ugly Laws: Disability in Public) and Ajitha Reddy (Immigration attorney on the“Origins of IQ Testing”). The Symposium on the 2nd & 3rd Eugenics Congress concludes with Part II, followed by a discussion of queer and trans legacies of eugenics with Kenyon Farrow (writer, editor, and strategist), Isa Noyola (Deputy Director, Transgender Law Center), Sebastian Margaret (anti-ableism, disability community educator & capacity builder), moderated by Susan Raffo (bodyworker, cultural worker and writer); artistic response by Aurora Levins Morales (writer & poet). The evening sessions include Mead Moments (Part II) featuring topic-related films and discussions specially curated by the American Museum of Natural History.
Wednesday, September 29: Reckonings
Day Three of the Convening begins with a morning Welcome, followed by host Milton Reynolds (educator and activist) framing the scope of the day. Keynote by Talila Lewis (abolitionist community lawyer, educator, & organizer) reckons with the legacy of eugenics as it impedes disability justice and Black liberation. Lunch Time Special includes a discussion of how NYC institutions are reckoning with the legacy of eugenics policies, featuring Darren Walker (President, Ford Foundation), Max Hollein (Director, Metropolitan Museum of Art), Cristián Samper (President & CEO, Wildlife Conservation Society) and Ellen V. Futter (President, American Museum of Natural History). Naima Penniman (multi-dimensional artist, activist, healer, grower & educator) offers readings, interpretations, and poetic responses to selections from Toni Morrison’s writings revealing a myriad of ways to reckon with the deep unresolved legacies of the past. The third Through-Line Session features Thomas C. Leonard (Professor, Economics Department, Princeton) reexamining the economic progressives whose top-down reform agenda underwrote the Progressive Era and Paul Lombardo (Professor, Georgia State College of Law) exploring how advertising in the age of eugenics reflected and reproduced the political and ideological messages of the movement by promising health and happiness. Other afternoon sessions include a panel, What is Beauty? with Patty Berne (Co-Founder, Executive and Artistic Director, Sins Invalid), Alok V. Menon (writer, performance artist, & media personality), Sean Saifa Wall (former president of Interact Advocates for Intersex Youth), moderated by Kareem Khubchandani (Mellon Bridge Assistant Professor, Dept. of Drama & Dance,Tufts), and a presentation on a new art work by Ebony Noelle Golden (artist, scholar, and culture strategist). Evening sessions feature Black Disabled Men Talk podcast with Leroy F. Moore, Jr (Co-Founder of Krip Hop Nation, writer, poet, community activist, & feminist), recorded audio content by Keith Jones (Co-Founder of Krip-Hop Nation), and the final session of Mead Moments (Part III) featuring topic-related films and discussions specially curated by the American Museum of Natural History.
Thursday, September 30: Reckonings
Day Four of the Convening begins with morning Welcome songs led by Pamela Villaseñor (Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians) (Executive Advisor to the Tribal President), followed by host Mindy Fullilove (social psychiatrist, New School for Social Research) framing the scope of the day. Lydia Z. Brown (advocate, organizer, educator, attorney, strategist, and writer) delivers a Keynote exploring how we can heal and transform eugenic legacies towards building non-eugenic futures. Lunch Time Special features Darren Walker (President, Ford Foundation) and John Palfrey (President, MacArthur Foundation) in a conversation moderated by Cara Reedy (Program Manager for DREDF’s Disability Media Alliance Project), with remarks by Rajiv J. Shah (President, Rockefeller Foundation). Other special sessions include a presentation by Mary Carter Bishop (Pulitzer Prize winning journalist) investigating Virginia’s “not fit to breed” policies; a panel on repairing the harm of eugenics in California with Ena Suseth Valladares (Director of Research, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice), Virginia Espino (Series Leader for Latina and Latino History at UCLA), Tamika Middleton (Founder, Anna Julia Cooper Learning and Liberation Center); and a Special Roundtable featuring Larry Hama (comic book writer, artist, actor), Louise (Weezy) Simonson (comic book writer and editor), and Christopher Priest (comic book writer) in discussion about the evolution of Marvel Comics. Through-Line Panel 4 investigates ways in which eugenics can be transformed, with Mab Segrest (lesbian feminist and anti-racist writer, scholar & activist), Miroslave Chavez-Garcia (Professor of History,University of California, Santa Barbara) and N. Ordover. Featured on-demand film content includes No Más Bebés (2015, PBS) which tells the story of a little-known, but landmark event, in reproductive justice, when a small group of Mexican immigrant women sued county doctors, the state, and the U.S. government after they were sterilized while giving birth at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Friday, October 1: Futures
Day Five of the Convening begins with morning Welcome, followed by host Thenmozhi Soundararajan (Dalit rights activist) framing the scope of the day. Ruha Benjamin (Professor of African American Studies, Princeton University) delivers a Keynote on the “New Jim Code”: challenging the ways technologies can heighten racial hierarchies and produce premature death. Special Sessions include a focus on the Shut Down Irwin Campaign (Georgia) featuring Stephanie Guilloud (Co-Director, Project South), Priyanka Bhatt (Staff Attorney, Project South), Wendy Dowe (sterilization abuse survivor), moderated by Cara Page. Featured artists include Alice Wong (founder and director of the Disability Visibility Project), Ebony Noelle Golden, and Antoine Hunter (Director, Urban Jazz Dance Company). Evening sessions include a special session on health surveillance and confronting the roles of technology and big data with Hamid Khan ( organizer, Stop LAPD Spying Coalition), Bita Amani (Associate Professor, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science), Courtni Andrews (movement scientist & doctor), moderated by Brian Tate (curator). Featured on-demand film content includes Crip Camp: A Revolution (2020, Netflix), a film about a groundbreaking summer camp that galvanizes a group of teens with disabilities to help build a movement, forging a new path toward greater equality.
Saturday, October 2: Futures
Day Six of the Convening begins with host Adaku Utah (healer, liberation educator & organizer) looking back across the week, offering grounding, integration and a synthesis of the week’s programming towards new imagined futures, followed by a special session with adrienne maree brown (author, doula, women’s rights activist) speaking on love and transformation with Cara Page. Lunch Time Specials conclude with an interview between Alex Minna Stern (author, prize-winning book Eugenic Nation: Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in Modern America) and Dána-Ain Davis (Professor of Urban Studies and Anthropology, Director of the Center for the Study of Women and Society at the Graduate Center). Further synthesis of the week’s proceedings are offered by Anti-Eugenics Project Co-Director, Jack (John Kuo Wei) Tchen, Grassroots Organizer Director Cara Page, and Amir Sheikh, Research and Public Education Director. Featured artists include Marisa Hamamoto and Infinite Flow Dance Company. The Convening concludes with ceremonial remarks by Alexis Pauline Gumbs (writer, independent scholar, poet, activist and educator) and Brent Stonefish (Turtle Clan/ Lunaapeew and member of Eelūnaapèewi Lahkèewiit (Delaware Nation), Ontario Canada), with members of the Munsee Lunaape community.