Dr. Natalie Lira is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Latina/Latino Studies in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. Dr. Lira’s research looks into the largely neglected racial aspects of California’s eugenic sterilization program by providing evidence of the disproportionate institutionalization and sterilization of Mexican-origin women and men in state hospitals for the disabled during the first half of the twentieth century. Dr. Lira is the Co-Director of the Sterilization and Social Justice Lab (SSJLAB), a multi-institutional and interdisciplinary research team based in the United States.
In this episode, Dr. Lira discusses her work in the SSJLAB and her research into institutional reproductive constraint in the context of notions of criminality and 'feeblemindedness', as well as the legacies of those ideologies and practices today.
Sterilization and Social Justice Lab: https://www.ssjlab.org/
Lira, N. (2021). “Low mentality” and “criminal tendencies”: Race, crime and disability in the politics of Latino men’s reproduction: “Baja mentalidad” y “tendencias criminales”: La raza, el crimen y la discapacidad en la política reproductiva hacia el hombre latino. Latino Studies, 19(3), 310-333. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41276-021-00332-5