Dorothy Canfield Fisher and the Eugenics movement

We had a brief but interesting discussion at the last meeting about the recent controversy surrounding the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award.

Member Caroline Marotti shared several articles on the subject. From an article from VT Digger, “Author under scrutiny for long-ago ties to eugenics“:

“Fisher’s reputation has been questioned in recent weeks, as Essex educator and artist Judy Dow has led the fight for the removal of Fisher’s name from the award. Dow, who has both French Canadian and Abenaki roots, claims that Fisher not only stereotyped French Canadians and Native Americans in her extensive works, but played an active role in the eugenics movement.”

“She was a progressive, but it was the progressive party that was running the eugenics program,” said Dow. “She was a product of the time, and the product of the time was eugenics.”

We invite you to learn more about this issue. It doesn’t appear that the Board of Libraries is taking public comment at this time, but we’ll keep you appraised.

More resources:

Board of Libraries delays book award decision, VT Digger

Vermont Considers Dumping Dorothy Canfield Fisher Over Ties to Eugenics Movement, Seven Days

Margolis: Fact and Dorothy Canfield Fisher’s fiction, VT Digger

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