OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

OAH Distinguished Lectureship program 40 years 1981-2021

Alexandra Minna Stern

Portrait of Alexandra Minna Stern

Alexandra Minna Stern is the Carroll Smith-Rosenberg Collegiate Professor of American Culture at the University of Michigan, and holds appointments in the departments of History and Women's and Gender Studies. Her research has focused on the uses and misuses of genetics in the United States and Latin America and on the histories of white supremacy and reproductive injustice. She is the author of Eugenic Nation: Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in Modern America (2005), which won the American Public Health Association’s Arthur J. Viseltear Prize for outstanding contribution to the history of public health, and Telling Genes: The Story of Genetic Counseling in America (2012). Her most recent book is Proud Boys and the White Ethnostate: How the Alt-Right is Warping the American Imagination (2019).

Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

In this lecture, Stern discusses the recent wave of the far right and white nationalism in the United States by highlighting the crucial roles of misogyny and transphobia, and delving into social media as a gateway to radicalization.
This lecture explores the dynamics of reproductive injustice, ableism, and scientific racism in the long history of eugenics. Stern shows how disability categories framed eugenics and intersected with other forms of exclusion and marginalization to shape 20th century America.
This lecture explores the critical role of gender ideologies and roles to the contemporary far right, and it also shows how female extremist and gender ideologies have worked to mainstream extremism and white nationalism.