Sex, Surveillance, and Social Control: Casting “Promiscuous” Women as Threats to National Security, and Incarcerating Them

January 10, 2019 -
5:00pm to 6:30pm

Abstract: Independent historian Scott Stern will describe his research project—which grew from his undergraduate thesis into a New York Times-reviewed book. Stern will discuss the mid-twentieth century “American Plan,” a social hygiene program whereby “any person reasonably suspected" by a public health official of being infected with a sexually transmitted infection could be quarantined and compelled to accept the poisonous treatments of the day.

Stern will discuss how the power of the state was used to target women and demonstrate how the narrative of a particular individual, Nina McCall, can be used to draw attention to faulty legal and scientific reasoning and the misuse of social power.

Note: this Medical Humanities lecture will take place on a Thursday, will be followed by a book signing, and is part of the School of Public Health’s Grand Rounds series.

Location and Address

G23 Public Health