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Why Fish Don't Exist: The Danger of Categorization, from Ichthyology to Eugenics

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

Lulu Miller is a current VFH residential Fellow, a co-founder of the podcast Invisibilia and an independent author. She will present her research for an upcoming book in a talk titled "Why Fish Don't Exist: The Danger of Categorization, from Ichthyology to Eugenics."

“Unfit” was the term used by the US Government to justify the forced eugenic sterilization of tens of thousands of people. A chapter in the upcoming book, Why Fish Don’t Exist, will explore the very living legacy of this practice. While many assume this is a long outlawed practice, the law has never been overturned at the Supreme Court level; there is evidence it has been practiced as recently as 2010, and there are hundreds of victims of forced sterilization alive today.

Virginia performed the second most sterilizations in the country (after California). Interviews with these people about the experience will be paired with a report on the efforts of a Virginia lawyer who uses sometimes unorthodox practices to fight for justice for the victims of sterilization.