Event What’s in a Name? Van Hise and the History of Eugenics at UW–Madison

5:30 pm, November 3, 2022
Union South

Join the University Committee on Disability Access and Inclusion (CDAI) for an evening with Kacie Lucchini Butcher, Director of the Public History Project, to reckon with UW-Madison’s history of eugenics.

Charles Van Hise was the president of UW–Madison from 1903 to 1918 and known for being a co-creator of the Wisconsin Idea. However, many are unaware he was a strong supporter of eugenics – selective breeding, often by forced sterilization to remove people of color, those with disabilities, and those who have been incarcerated or detained. Eugenics policy is considered racist, ableist, and associated with genocide.

Please email cdai@secfac.wisc.edu with any questions or to request an accommodation for the event. CART services will be provided. Facilities are wheelchair accessible.

RSVP at https://go.wisc.edu/r68dwn

All are cordially invited to a special reception on Friday, November 4, 12-1PM at the Sifting & Reckoning Exhibit at the Chazen Museum of Art with Kacie Lucchini Butcher and CDAI.

In conclusion

“True resistance begins with people confronting pain … and wanting to do something to change it.”

—bell hooks, MA’76

As we fearlessly sift and winnow through the university’s past, many hard truths emerge. We also find hope, and the ever-present possibility of change for the better. The university has changed in many ways across its history, often because members of the campus community have demanded it.

We believe that reckoning with our history can lead us to a better future, and that unless we acknowledge and learn from our past, we cannot move forward together. The future is not yet written. What happens next is up to us.

The UW–Madison Public History Project was made possible with support from the Office of the Chancellor using private funds.