Report on the Inaugural Conference for Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada

On October 22 and 23, the Living Archives project held its first public event since being awarded Community University Research Alliance (CURA) funding earlier in 2010.  For those who weren’t able to attend, and for those who were but who want a reminder, below is a report on the conference proceedings.

Friday morning began with a team meeting.  It was announced that seven people would be joining the team.  The team now includes 31 scholars, advocates, and community members working throughout Canada and internationally. Later in the meeting, team member, Frank Stahnisch, described a workshop on the history of eugenics and brain psychiatry that is to be held in Banff on June 21, 2011.  More information will be sent out as we approach June.  Finally, the team received a presentation from Colette Leung, a research assistant in the Program in Humanities Computing at Alberta, on the five-year strategy for building the Living Archives website.  Work has already begun on the website, and we expect it eventually to become a very valuable resource for information and research on the history of eugenics.  The next team meeting and public event has been scheduled for May 5 – 7 in Edmonton.  Details to come soon. Continue reading

Living Archives: Inaugural Events

The 5-year project, Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada will launch its public face with some inaugural events in Edmonton at the end of this week.  All events are free and open to the public, and we welcome community and university members, individuals and organizations.

We start on Friday 22nd October, 2010, with a keynote address by Professor Douglas Wahlsten at the Telus Centre on the campus of the University of Alberta, at 7pm, entitled “Eugenics in Alberta: Science and Politics”.  The talk is in Room 150, doors open at 6:30 and a reception will follow.

Events on Saturday October 23, 2010 take place on the lower floor of the Stanley Milner Library located opposite Churchill Square in Edmonton.  We will be downstairs in the Edmonton Room, with coffee and snacks available at 9.45am and the first session starting at 10.00am.  Members of the public are also welcome to attend a short meeting of the governing board, which will begin at 9.00am in the same location.  The Saturday events include:

  • Dick Sobsey & Heidi Janz “Picturing Eugenics: Telling the Story of Eugenics Through Alternative Communication”
  • Erika Dyck, “Building a People’s History of Eugenics: Archives Past and Present”
  • Gregor Wolbring, “Dynamics Around Eugenic Acceptance and Rejection: Lesson for the Future”
  • Claudia Malacrida, “Creating an Oral History of Eugenics Questions of Scope, Ethics and Access”

To register for the free lunch or request disability accommodations, please contact moyra@ualberta.ca or register directly at http://www.whatsorts.net/register/.  You can also get updated information at http://www.whatsorts.net Continue reading

New stuff on What Sorts website

Thanks to the work of John Simpson, the What Sorts Network website now has a new look, and lots of new content.  Of special note are the links to our past events, linking to captioned and often transcripted video footage from events we have sponsored over the past three years, the description of the Community-Research Alliance (CURA) project, Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada, whose funding is pending, and a friendlier introduction to the What Sorts blog, including direct links to about 20 popular and favoured named posts from the past 18 months.  Continue reading

Philosophy, Eugenics and Disability in Alberta and Places North – Rob Wilson Part 1

On October 25, 2008, the What Sorts Network hosted a public symposium to examine, well, philosophy, eugenics, and disability in Alberta and places north. Four speakers were featured on the panel, Dick Sobsey, Simo Vehmas, Martin Tweedale, and Rob Wilson. This event was video recorded and over the next month we will highlight these videos on this blog. Roughly four videos will be featured each week.

To download the full description of the symposium please click here.

With this video we begin the first part of the presentation by Rob Wilson. Professor Wilson’s presentation is titled “Building Inclusive Communities Through Practices of Collective Memory: The Case of Eugenic Sterilization in Alberta.” Part interim report, part philosophical reflection, this presentation is a glimpse into the ongoing process of exploring the eugenics history of Alberta.

Part 1

Highlights: collective memory, particular practices of collective memory, constructive value of the very activity of remembering, direction of the What Sorts Network.

Transcript below the cut.

Continue reading