Historical Memory & Commemoration

Local and national discussions about renaming buildings and institutions are part of broader debates about the relationship between commemoration and historical memory. Institutional responses to these debates have varied: some have shied away from such conversations, others have embraced the challenge of developing complex and holistic plans for assessing naming and commemoration practices while wrestling with the complex legacies of the past. Some names have been changed; others have been kept. Below you can find blogs, scholarship, and news coverage (in chronological order) of debates taking place nationally and internationally regarding buildings and institutions named after eugenicists.

David Starr Jordan (1851-1931)~ Chancellor of Stanford University, influential biologist and one of the main popularizers of eugenics

October 27, 2018: Jordan Hall renaming discussed at PACE Event (Indian University)

April 23, 2019: Renaming of David Starr Jordan Middle School in Burbank (California)

Biologist C.C. Little (1888-1971) ~ University of Michigan biologist

April 17, 2016: Op-Ed: Questioning C.C. Little’s Legacy

March 29, 2018: University of Michigan to Remove Little, Winchell Names from Campus Facilities

Theodore Roosevelt (1859-1919) – U.S. President and conservationist

The American Museum of Natural History Museum’s Exhibit: Addressing the Statue

June 24, 2020: We don’t have to like them. We just need to understand them (The New York Times).

June 21, 2020: Roosevelt Statue to be removed from Museum of Natural History (The New York Times

June 27, 2020: Removing the Statue (TR and Others). Letters to The New York Times

June 28, 2020: Defenders of Roosevelt Statue converge on Natural History Museum (The New York Times)

Francis Galton (1922-1911) ~ Statistician who coined the term Eugenics

December 6, 2018: University of College London launches inquiry into historical links with eugenics (The Guardian)


February 8, 2020: UCL Eugenics Inquiry did not go far enough, committee say (The Guardian)

June 29, 2020: UCL Renames Three Facilities that Honoured Prominent Eugenicists (The Guardian) 

Paul Brandon Barringer (1857-1941) ~ Physician and eugenicist from the University of Virginia

Another UVa Building named after a Eugenicist could be Renamed