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"The New Sterilization: Incarceration as Population Policy in the United States," lecture and opening reception for the multimedia exhibition, Interrupted Life: Incarcerated Mothers in the United States

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
4:00 AM
2239 Lane Hall

More information about the exhibit

Mothers of young children are the fastest-growing population of incarcerated persons in the United States today. Policing practices that target poor women of childbearing age—many of them women of color, most convicted of nonviolent crimes—have halted these women’s heterosexual sex lives and reproductive opportunities as effectively as coercive sterilization programs interrupted the fertility of numerous welfare recipients in the 1970s. These practices arguably function as a contemporary extension of population policies embedded in U.S. laws governing slavery and immigration since the 18th century.   

Rickie Solinger is a historian and curator who writes about reproductive and welfare politics, and the relationships of race and class to these issues. She authored the award-winning Wake Up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race before Roe v. Wade. Her new book is Reproductive Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know.

This lecture opens the Lane Hall exhibition, “Interrupted Life: Incarcerated Mothers in the United States,” curated by Solinger.

A reception will be held in the Lane Hall Exhibit Space after Solinger's lecture.

This exhibit is hosted by the Institute for Research on Women and Gender and the Women's Studies Department, with support from Afroamerican and African Studies, American Culture, Center for the Education of Women, English Language and Literature, Ford School of Public Policy, History, History of Art, Institute for the Humanities, Rackham Graduate School, School of Social Work, and the Understanding Race Theme Semester.


Rickie Solinger, Independent Historian, Writer, and Curator