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"What is an Educated Person (2)?"
Address by Ryanne Pilgeram, Assistant Professor, Sociology
Wednesday, November 5, 2014, 6:00 p.m.
Vandal Ballroom, Student Union Building
Eugenics, a philosophical position positing that humans, like wheat on the Palouse, could be engineered through “better” breeding, was taught at the University of Idaho (as well as many other land-grant universities) through at least the 1940s (Glenna, Gollnick, and Jones, 2007)*. This position allowed for the forced sterilization of people deemed “undesirable” and was widely popular until Hitler’s use of eugenics was shown in horrific detail. Using this idea of as a starting point, this talk considers how knowledge is produced and the responsibilities of people to be aware of their particular social position and epistemology. Encouraging learners to dwell in contradictions and be open to others’ worldview, this talk explores the importance of a liberal arts education in creating an educated populace for a healthy democracy.
Ryanne Pilgeram is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and director of the Certificate in Diversity and Stratification at the University of Idaho. Her research and teaching focuses on social inequalities and environmental sociology. Pilgeram’s work has appeared in a variety of academic journals, most recently Rural Sociology and Environmental Communication: a Journal of Nature and Culture. She is the recipient of the UI’s 2014 Hoffman Award for Teaching Excellence. Pilgeram earned a Ph.D. from the University of Oregon in 2010 and joined the UI faculty that year.
* Glenna, L. L., Gollnick, M. A., & Jones, S. S. (2007). “Eugenic Opportunity Structures Teaching Genetic Engineering at US Land-Grant Universities Since 1911.” Social Studies of Science, 37(2), 281-296.