Facing Eugenics: Reproduction, Sterilization, and the Politics of Choice

By Erika Dyck

© 2013

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.

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Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 332 pages
  • Illustrations: 14
  • Dimensions: 6.1in x 0.8in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP003255

  • PUBLISHED DEC 2013

    From: $24.71

    Regular Price: $32.95

    ISBN 9781442612556
  • PUBLISHED DEC 2013

    From: $51.75

    Regular Price: $69.00

    ISBN 9781442644168
  • PUBLISHED DEC 2013

    From: $24.71

    Regular Price: $32.95

Quick Overview

Facing Eugenics is a social history of sexual sterilization operations in twentieth-century Canada.

Facing Eugenics: Reproduction, Sterilization, and the Politics of Choice

By Erika Dyck

© 2013

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.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 332 pages
  • Illustrations: 14
  • Dimensions: 6.1in x 0.8in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    ‘I would suggest that this complicated history, one that is both sweepingly macro and intimately micro, is not only worth reading but also our responsibility to remember.’


    Jen Rinaldi
    Canadian Journal of Disability Studies vol 3:03:2014

    ‘This is a terrific book which deserves a wide audience well beyond Canada.’


    Philippa Levine
    Histoire sociale / Social History, vol 47:95:2014

    ‘Facing Eugenics is a wonderful book. Written in clear and accessible prose, it provides a sophisticated and nuanced account of history of eugenics and reproductive rights in Canada. It deserves wide readership in the classroom and beyond.’


    Molly Todd-Taylor
    Canadian Historical Review vol 96:01:2015

    ‘Dyck situates the fascinating and important story of eugenics and sterilization in Alberta on the historiographical map with exceptional intelligence and compassion.’


    Alexandra Minna Stern
    Bulletin of the History of Medicine vol89:03:2015

    Facing Eugenics is rich, complex, and nuanced, yet leaves us with a complete and useful portrait of eugenics in the twentieth century – not an easy feat. One of the strategies that Erika Dyck employs to do this so effectively is her use of case studies, each of which is fascinating and helps to illustrate a piece of the puzzle. Compelling, well-researched, and extremely well-written, this study reshapes the parameters of the eugenics debate.”

    Wendy Kline, Department of History, University of Cincinnati

    “With Facing Eugenics, Dyck demonstrates a mastery of the vast literature on the history of eugenics, sterilization, and reproductive rights. Her book not only follows the most recent trends in the field, but moves it forward in important ways.”


    Rebecca Kluchin, Department of History, California State University, Sacramento
  • Author Information

    Erika Dyck is Canada Research Chair in History of Medicine and an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan.
  • Table of contents

    Acknowledgments

    Table of Contents

    List of Images

    Introduction

    Chapter 1: Vagrancy, Violence and Virtue: Nora Powers

    Chapter 2: Race, Consent and Protection: George Pierre

    Chapter 3: Sterilization Redefined: Violet and Irene

    Chapter 4: Vasectomy, Masculinity and Hyperactivity: Ken Nelson

    Chapter 5: From Sterilization to Patient Activism: Doreen Ella Befus

    Chapter 6: Appendectomy to Queen’s Court Settlement: Leilani Muir

    Chapter 7: Abortion, Sterilization and the Eugenics Legacy: Jane Doe

    Chapter 8: Conclusion

    Bibliography

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