Psychiatry and the Legacies of Eugenics

Historical Studies of Alberta and Beyond

Edited by Frank W. Stahnisch

Psychiatry and the Legacies of Eugenics

Edited by Frank W. Stahnisch

Distributed for Athabasca University Press

488 pages | 6 x 9
Paper $41.95 ISBN: 9781771992657 Published September 2020 For sale in USA only

From 1928 to 1972, the Alberta Sexual Sterilization Act, Canada’s lengthiest eugenic policy, shaped social discourses and medical practice in the province. Sterilization programs – particularly involuntary sterilization programs – were responding both nationally and internationally to social anxieties produced by the perceived connection between mental degeneration and heredity. Psychiatry and the Legacy of Eugenics illustrates how the emerging field of psychiatry and its concerns about inheritable conditions was heavily influenced by eugenic thought and contributed to the longevity of sterilization practices in Western Canada. Using institutional case studies, biographical accounts, and media developments from Western Canada and Europe, contributors trace the impact of eugenics on nursing practices, politics, and social attitudes, while investigating the ways in which eugenics discourses persisted unexpectedly and remained mostly unexamined in psychiatric practice. This volume further extends historical analysis into considerations of contemporary policy and human rights issues through a discussion of disability studies as well as compensation claims for victims of sterilization. In impressive detail, contributors shed new light on the medical and political influences of eugenics on psychiatry at a key moment in the field’s development
With contributions by Ashley Barlow, W. Mikkel Dack, Aleksandra Loewenau, Diana Mansell, Guel A. Russell, Celeste Tuong Vy Sharpe, Henderikus J. Stam, Douglas Wahlsten, Paul J. Weindling, Robert A. Wilson, Gregor Wolbring, and Marc Workman.

Contents
Foreword / Guel A. Russell
Preface – Eugenics and Its Study / Robert A.m Wilson
Acknowledgements
1 Introduction / Frank W. Stahnisch and Erna Kurbegovic
2  John M. MacEachran (1877–1971) and Eugenics in Alberta: Victorian Sensibilities, Idealist Philosophy, and Detached Efficiency / Henderikus J. Stam and Ashley Barlow
3  The Consequences of Eugenic Sterilization in Alberta / Douglas Wahlsten
4 Involvement of Nurses in the Eugenics Program in Alberta, 1920–1940 / Diana Mansell
5 The Alberta Eugenics Movement and the 1937 Amendment to the Sexual Sterilization Act / Mikkel Dack
6 Eugenics in Manitoba and the Sterilization Controversy of 1933 / Erna Kurbegovic
7 “New Fashioned with Respect to the Human Race”: American Eugenics in the Media at the Turn of the Twentieth Century / Celeste Sharpe
8 The “Eugenics Paradox”: Core Beliefs of Progressivism versus Relicts of Medical Traditionalism: The Example of Kurt Goldstein (1878–1965) / Frank W. Stahnisch
9 Dr. Horst Schumann (1906–1983): The Unpunished Nazi Criminal / Aleksandra Loewenau
10 Too Little, Too Late: Compensation for Victims of Coerced Sterilization / Paul J. Weindling
11 Commentary One / Marc Workman
12 Commentary Two / Gregor Wolbring
Conclusion / Frank W. Stahnisch and Erna Kurbegovic
Appendices / Notes / Index
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