Eugenics, the idea that “inferior” genetic traits can be eliminated by preventing certain people from having children, is a complicated topic to discuss. One of the most recognizable and horrifying examples of eugenics is the “racial cleansing” performed by the Nazis before and during World War II. All good WWII museums address the implications of Nazi […]Read more "Redefining Normal: Ways Museums Discuss Eugenics and Disability"
Andreas Heinecke’s family has a complex background. His mother’s family was victims of the Holocaust while his father’s family was supporters of the Nazi regime. These opposing connections to the regime led Heinecke to ask two questions: “What is the process of marginalization and exclusion?” and “How and why do we judge people as inferior […]Read more "Creating Meaningful Exhibitions for Visitors…And Staff"
Through what lens do you observe and contextualize history? Every individual has and uses a different lens by which to understand and construct meaning. Sometimes because of our personal biases, we forget that there is more than one lens. However, an exhibit by Gallaudet University entitled History Through Deaf Eyes challenges audiences to examine history, education, […]Read more "Life with Deaf Eyes: A Gallaudet University Exhibition"
The Boston Children’s Museum’s vision statement “is to be a welcoming, imaginative, child–centered learning environment that supports diverse families in nurturing their children’s creativity and curiosity. We promote the healthy development of all children so that they will fulfill their potential and contribute to our collective well being and future prosperity.”  Given this, their […]Read more "Teaching children about disability"
Normally, when we think of Eugenics, we think of Nazi Germany. What many people may not know is that Eugenics was a phenomena that started in the United States in the early twentieth century. Eugenics is a concept that refers to the “intentional and selective breeding of humans or animals” with traits that are deemed […]Read more "Justice for N.C. Sterilization Victims"
What does it look like when the state only partially recognizes an individual as a person with basic human rights? Like they’re only half there and their opinion is not worth considering. To answer that question we can look at The United States. According to Ellen Bush, the editor of the University of North Carolina […]Read more "Fadeaway Girls: Victims Twice Over"
Reading about eugenics this week reminded me of this scene from The Great Gatsby. 1 I have included a shortened version of this scene from the book, published in 1925, below: “Civilization’s going to pieces,” broke out Tom violently. “I’ve gotten to be a terrible pessimist about things. Have you read ‘The Rise of the […]Read more "Eugenics, Class, and The Great Gatsby"
“What is your ancestry?” Chances are, we’ve all heard this question from time to time. Often, we’ll respond to this line of inquiry with something similar to: “oh, I’m about three-quarters Scottish, one quarter Danish.” But have you ever stopped to consider just where the idea came from? At some point, someone came up with […]Read more "When Racism Is Policy"
As an emerging museum professional, I am always glad when museums and arts organizations are able to continue the learning process after a program is complete. I like being able to go to a film or an exhibit or a lecture and follow it up with a resource that leads me to more information on that […]Read more "Learning more about Jim Crow"
Ken Gonzales-Day is an artist and scholar who likes to convey his message in a novel manner. One example of this is Disappearing into the Trees, a recent, prominent exhibition he created about lynching. Gonzales-Day displayed pictures of trees used for lynchings throughout California, but omitted any images of the victims.  Given his tendency […]Read more "Redeeming Space: Art on Los Angeles Billboards"