Why Fish Don’t Exist

Fellowships | History

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

145 Ednam Drive Charlottesville, VA

Why Fish Don’t Exist: The Dangers 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, by VFH Fellow Lulu Miller, 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.

Join VFH Fellow and creator of the popular NPR podcast Invisibilia, Lulu Miller for a discussion of her work.

Free and open to the public. A casual lunch will be provided.