In this lecture, Nancy Scheper-Hughes will discuss the political, economic and moral economies that have transformed the experiences of life and death in the interior of Northeast Brazil, 20 years after the publication of Death Without Weeping: The Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil. Her controversial discussion of mother love and child death is one of her most well-known — though least well-understood — theses. She will clarify her argument and explain how a sexual and reproductive revolution came about in the first decade of the 21st century. She will also touch upon her political engagements with the women of the Alto do Cruzeiro against a death squad that had terrorized the community in the late 1990s early 2000s. As an aside she will also explain how poor young men living on the fringes of Recife, the capital city, of Pernambuco got caught up in an international network of human traffickers for kidneys in 2001-2003, which actualized their mothers' worst fears,that their children would be 'kidnapped' for their organs.
Nancy Scheper-Hughes is Chancellor's Professor of Anthropology at UC Berkeley, where she directs the doctoral program in Medical Anthropology, and the co-founder and director of Organs Watch, a medical human rights project on human trafficking to supply organs for transplant patients. A new, updated edition of Death Without Weeping: The Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil is in preparation. She is the editor (with Loic Acquaint) of Commodifying Bodies, and with Philippe Bourgeois of Violence in War and Peace. Forthcoming are two ethnographies: The Ghosts of Montes de Oca: A Hidden Subtext of the Argentine Dirty War (University of North Carolina Press) and Kidney Hunter: Trafficking with the Organs Traffickers (University of California Press).
Location and Address
The Pennsylvania Room at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association, 4215 Fifth Avenue (across from the Cathedral of Learning)