You are here

To watch a video of a past event, click on the event's title below. To be notified when we add a new video, please click here to subscribe to the ISSI YouTube channel.

If you require captioning to access a video on our site, please contact us at or 510 642-0813. Please expect 7-10 days for captioning to be provided.

Spring 2022

Thursday, April 21 | 12 - 1:30pm PT

Writing Health through Black Feminist Theory: In Conversation with Nessette Falu and James Doucet-Battle

Nessette Falu, PhD, Anthropology, University of Central Florida

James Doucet-Battle, PhD, Sociology, UC Santa Cruz



At this interactive event, Nessette Falu and James Doucet-Battle will discuss the role of Black feminist thought in their research toward liberatory medicine, as well as the process of turning that research into academic books. Falu’s book, Unseen Flesh: Black Lesbian Worth Making and Gynecological Trauma in Bahia (forthcoming from Duke University Press) examines Black lesbians’ negative affective experiences caused by entrenched intersectional prejudice within gynecology in Brazil. She shows how gynecological infrastructures mirror Brazil’s broader sociohistorical and social violence. Falu argues that Black lesbians pursue their well-being against intersectional intimate violence and that this pursuit of self-worth drives their resistance toward social change, self-care and communal action in overt and transformative ways. Doucet-Battle’s recently published book, Sweetness in the Blood: Race, Risk, and Type 2 Diabetes (University of Minnesota Press, 2021), threads together the historical demand for African American bodies in US scientific research within a narrative chronology of three contemporary recruitment strategies targeting this imagined population. He argues that innovation occurs not only between technology, social norms, and hierarchies. Nature itself is reinvented through new technologically-mediated interpretations of difference, hierarchies of value, and as a cultural project. Genomic research offers new metabolic narratives of race, gender, and history, in this case, a particular US history. Falu and Doucet-Battle will join us in a moderated conversation, as well as engage with the audience, to illuminate their processes of writing health through Black feminist theory.

Sponsored by: ISSI's Berkeley Center for Social Medicine, UCSF Humanities and Social Sciences

Co-sponsored by: ISSI's Center for Ethnographic Research, UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program, Public Health, School of, Othering & Belonging Institute

Fall 2021

Tuesday, November 16 | 12 -1pm PT

Inflamed: Decolonizing Medicine for Better Health Outcomes

Rupa Marya, Associate Professor of Medicine at UCSF



Associate Professor of Medicine, activist, composer, and co-author of the bestselling book Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice, Rupa Marya, MD, will describe how medicine is limited in its capacity to serve the health of all people by the same histories and contours of power that create and recreate the structural inequalities in society. To achieve the possibility of different health outcomes, we must re-conceptualize health with the understanding of our bodies as systems impacted by the systems we are part of – from ecological to social to microbiological. Drawing from experiences in service of communities on the frontlines struggling against police violence and petroleum pipelines and from the science of inflammatory disease, Dr. Marya will provide a compelling case to advance models of diagnosis and treatment for systems-level derangements in order to advance the possibility of health for all.

Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice is available here.

Sponsored by ISSI's Berkeley Center for Social Medicine, School of Public Health

Spring 2021

Friday, February 26 | 12 - 1:30pm PT

Revealed in the Wound: Iraqibacter and the Biology of History

Omar Dewachi, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Rutgers University



Building on ethnographic research on wounds and the ecologies of war and healthcare in Iraq and across the Middle East, this talk explores the rise of Iraqibacter, a moniker given to Acinetobacter baumannii — a superbug associated with the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. Tracing the histories and geographies of this “superbug” across the landscapes of war injury, I show how unravelling ethnographic and microbiological knowledge about antimicrobial resistance reveals deeper entanglements of this killer superbug in the political, biosocial, and environmental manifestations of long-term Western interventions and present-day conflict fallout across the region. Building on the notion of biology of history, the registration of human activity in bacterial life, I suggest that Iraqibacter could be understood as an archive of the changing ecologies and toxicities of war in Iraq and beyond.

Sponsored by ISSI's Berkeley Center for Social Medicine

Co-sponsored by Center for Middle Eastern Studies

Wednesday, March 31 | 12 - 1:30pm PT

Epidemic Illusions: On the Coloniality of Global Public Health

Eugene Richardson, Assistant Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Troy Duster, Chancellor's Professor Emeritus, UC Berkeley

Bonnie Duran, Professor, Schools of Social Work and Public Health, University of Washington



Please join us for a talk by Eugene Richardson on his new book, Epidemic Illusions: On the Coloniality of Global Public Health, in conversation with renowned scholars Troy Duster and Bonnie Duran as they explore the impact of colonial thought, racism and patriarchy on the development of public health science and practices.

Sponsored by ISSI's Berkeley Center for Social Medicine, the Othering & Belonging Institute, and the School of Public Health

Friday, May 28 | 12-1:30pm PT

Redistributing the Poor in Conversation with Bandage, Sort, and Hustle


Armando Lara-Millan, Assistant Professor of Sociology at UC Berkeley

Josh Seim, Assistant Professor of Sociology at USC


Jennifer James, Assistant Professor in the Institute for Health and Aging at UCSF

Michael Burawoy, Professor of Sociology at UC Berkeley





Join us for a conversation between the recently published books Redistributing the Poor: Jails, Hospitals, and the Crisis of Law and Fiscal Austerity by Armando Lara-Millan of UC Berkeley and Bandage, Sort, and Hustle: Ambulance Crews on the Front Lines of Urban Suffering by Josh Seim of USC. Both authors will make short presentations about their work followed by special discussion from Jennifer James, Assistant Professor in the Institute for Health and Aging at UCSF and Michael Burawoy, Professor of Sociology at UC Berkeley. 

Sponsored by: Oxford University Press, University of California Press, USC Dornsife Department of Sociology, UC San Francisco, ISSI's Berkeley Center for Social Medicine

Spring 2020

April 15, 2020  | 4:30 - 6pm PST • 7:30 - 9pm EST

Structural Competency Innovations & Opportunities in the Era of Covid-19

Part 1 : Basic Needs and First Response



Co-sponsored by Berkeley Center for Social Medicine

April 22, 2020  | 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. PST 

Structural Competency Innovations & Opportunities in the Era of Covid-19

Part 2 : Medically Marginalized Populations


Co-sponsored by Berkeley Center for Social Medicine

Friday, May 1 | 4-5pm 
Nancy Krieger, Professor of Social Epidemiology and American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professor, Harvard School of Public Health 


Professor Nancy Krieger will engage in conversation with Professors Mahasin Muhajid and Corinne Ridell (UCB) about the impact of racial discrimination, social class and place on the excess disease and death rates from COVID19 among African American and other communities of color.  The session will focus on some of the thorny issues related to collecting and analyzing relevant social data on COVID19; and also on advancing a social justice agenda in addressing racial/ethnic disparities in disease rates.  The conversation will be moderated by Professor Rachel Morello-Frosch, UCB.

Sponsored by UC Berkeley School of Public Health
Co-sponsored by Berkeley Center for Social Medicine and Othering & Belonging Institute

Wednesday, May 6, 2020  | 8:00 - 9:30 a.m. PST

Structural Competency Innovations & Opportunities in the Era of Covid-19

Part 3 : Global Responses



Co-sponsored by Berkeley Center for Social Medicine

Fall 2019

Tuesday, September 17 I 4:00-6:00pm 

Berkeley Center for Social Medicine Colloquia Series:

Against Humanity: Why the Concept Does Violence to the Common Good

Sam Dubal, Visiting Scholar, Berkeley Center for Social Medicine



This talk is not about crimes against humanity. Rather, it is an indictment of ‘humanity’, the concept that lies at the heart of human rights and humanitarian missions. Based on fieldwork in northern Uganda with former rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), an insurgent group accused of rape, forced conscription of children, and inhumane acts of violence, I examine how 'humanity' conceptualizes the LRA as a set of problems rather than a set of possibilities, as inhuman enemies needing reform. Humanity hegemonizes what counts as good in ways that are difficult to question or challenge. It relies on very specific notions of the good – shaped in ideals of modern violence, technology, modernity, and reason, among others – in ways that do violence to the common good. What emerges from this ethnography is an unorthodox question – what would it mean to be ‘against humanity’? And how can a particular form of anti-humanism foster alternative, more radical efforts at social change in the realms of humanitarianism, medicine, and politics?

223 Moses Hall, UC Berkeley

Co-sponsored by the Center for African Studies

Fall 2018

Tuesday, December 4 I 5:30-7:00pm

Health Care Under the Knife: Moving Beyond Capitalism for Our Health

Howard Waitzkin, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, University of New Mexico



These days, our health and well-being are sorted through a profit-seeking financial complex that monitors and commodifies our lives. Our access to competent, affordable health care grows more precarious every day. We need a deeper understanding of the changing structural conditions that link capitalism, health care, and health. From a recognition that such linkages deserve closer study and that this analytic work will assist in real-world struggles for change, Howard Waitzkin, in collaboration with the medical professionals, scholars, and activists who comprise the Working Group on Health Beyond Capitalism, wrote Health Care Under the Knife: Moving Beyond Capitalism for Our Health. Waitzkin will discuss just what's wrong with our medical system, how it got this way, and how this book contributes to a winning strategy in moving toward a post-capitalist health-care system.

Gifford Room, 221 Kroeber Hall

Co-sponsored by National Nurses United and the California Nurses Association

Friday, October 26 I 12:00-1:30pm

Family Separations: Beyond Violence Histories to Build Belonging

Heide Castañeda, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of South Florida; Ericka Huggins, Human Rights Activist, Poet, Educator; Former Black Panther Party Leader and Political Prisoner; Angie Junck, Supervising Attorney, Immigration Legal Resource Center

Moderator: Seth Holmes, Co-Chair, Berkeley Center for Social Medicine



Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall

Sponsored by Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society

Co-sponsored by Berkeley Center for Social Medicine

A resource guide related to this event is available for download here.

Spring 2018

Thursday, April 19 | 6:00-8:00pm

Towards a Public Health for Liberation: New Insights from Latin American  Critical Epidemiology  

Lecture by Jaime Breilh, Rector of the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, Quito, Ecuador

with Amani Nuru-Jeter, Associate Professor, Public Health, UC Berkeley and Nancy Peluso, Henry J. Vaux Distinguished Professor of Forest Policy in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, & Management, UC Berkeley, as respondents 

and Charles Briggs, Professor, Department of Anthropology, as moderator 



Gifford Room (Kroeber 221)

Sponsored by The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) and the Berkeley Center for Social Medicine, UC Berkeley

Wednesday, April 18 | 6:00-8:00pm

Latin American Social Medicine, Then and Now

Jaime Breilh, Rector of the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, Quito, Ecuador

Dorothy Porter, Department of Anthropology, History & Social Medicine, UC San Francisco

Clara Mantini-Briggs, Department of Anthropology, UC Berkeley

Fernando Losada, NNU and Global Nurses United

Luther Castillo, Founder, First Popular Garifuna Hospital in Honduras

Seth Holmes, Associate Professor of Environmental Science, Policy & Management and of Medical Anthropology, as moderator



Archaeological Research Facility, Room 101, 2251 College Ave., Berkeley

Sponsored by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) and the Berkeley Center for Social Medicine, UC Berkeley

Thursday, March 22 | 6-7:30 p.m. 

Beyond Identity: Building Collective Struggles for Racial and Health Justice

George Lipsitz, Professor of Black Studies, UC Santa Barbara 

Rupa Marya, Associate Professor of Medicine and Faculty Director of the Do No Harm Coalition, UC San Francisco 

Carlos Martinez, PhD student, UC Berkeley/UC San Francisco Joint Program in Medical Anthropology



Since the 2016 presidential elections, “identity politics” have come under acute fire by a number of liberal and left commentators who fault its proponents with dividing civil society and social movements, while creating a backlash that brought Trump to power. Yet, extensive scholarship in social science and public health has made it clear that race has been and continues to be a foundational force in structuring dramatically unequal social conditions and health outcomes. How should we interpret current critiques of identity politics in light of such racial inequalities? How can race-based politics be reconciled with broad demands for social transformation? What role should health practitioners play in challenging racial inequalities in our current moment? 

Gifford Room (Kroeber 221)

Sponsored by The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) and the Berkeley Center for Social Medicine, UC Berkeley

Tuesday, February 13 | 6:00pm - 8:00pm

No Ban, No Wall: Confronting the Militarization of Our Borders and Communities

Lara Kiswani, Executive Director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC)

Ofelia Ortiz Cuevas, Assistant Professor of Department of Chicana/o Studies at UC Davis

Pierre Labossiere, Co-Founder of the Haiti Action Committee

Abraham Vela M.D., Volunteer, Clínica Martín-Baró 

with Seth Holmes, Co-Chair of ISSI’s Berkeley Center for Social Medicine and Associate Professor of Environmental Science, Policy & Management and Medical Anthropology as respondent



The Trump presidency has increased attacks on immigrant and marginalized communities through targeting sanctuary cities, instituting the Muslim ban, and revoking temporary protected status for thousands. But, these actions are based on a long-standing foundation of xenophobia and criminalization. Such repression manifests not only at borders, but also in our backyards in the form of militarized policing, state surveillance, and collusion between local and federal law enforcement. Please join us for a panel discussion to analyze these intersections with some of the individuals working to defend the health and rights of immigrant communities. 

Gifford Room (Kroeber Hall 221)

Sponsored by California Nurses Association & Berkeley Center for Social Medicine, UC Berkeley

Wednesday, January 24 | 6:30-8:30pm

The Business of Disaster: Colonial Shock Doctrine & the Fight for Health Justice in Post-Maria Puerto Rico

Panel Discussion with Vincanne Adams, Professor in the Joint UCSF/UC Berkeley Program in Medical Anthropology; Cathy Kennedy, Registered Nurse and a Vice President of National Nurses United, and Javier Arbona, Professor of American Studies and Design at UC Davis. 



The ongoing catastrophe following Hurricane Maria’s landfall on Puerto Rico in September has provided a stark reminder that disasters are never merely natural. As with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, historical inequalities have played a clear role in shaping the government’s response. The enduring colonial relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico and the market-driven nature of governmental relief efforts are both critical to understanding the current crisis. 

Gifford Room (Kroeber Hall 221)

Sponsored by The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) and the Berkeley Center for Social Medicine, UC Berkeley

Fall 2017

Wednesday, November 8 I 4:00-5:30pm

Institute for the Study of Societal Issues presents: 

Chronic Cultural Impossibility: Ideologies that Undermine Health as a Fundamental Social Right

Clara Mantini-Briggs, Departments of Anthropology and Demography, UC Berkeley



Even when health professionals embrace conceptions of health as a fundamental social right, health practitioners can embrace a framework that, in critical race scholar Denise Silva's terms, “produces and regulates human condition and establishes (morally and intellectually) a distinct kind of human being.” How can a professional commitment to prioritize the health of low-income racialized minority populations go hand-in-hand with efforts to justify the denial of effective and comprehensive health services? Wakahara de la Orqueta lies in the Delta Amacuro rainforest of eastern Venezuela, where indigenous Warao communities were affected by a cholera epidemic that started in August of 1992. Working there as a physician during the epidemic, I saw residents use their own hands, knowledge, and belief in new and better futures to face a preventable and treatable bacterial infection that can nonetheless kill in as little as eight hours, only to have health professionals literally crush their creative efforts. What was their logic? Paul Farmer has referred to appropriations of anthropological explanation by health professionals as "immodest claims of causality." Here I look more closely at such invocations of cultural reasoning by exploring how they emerge from what I refer to as an eternal recurrence of the syndrome of "chronic cultural impossibility."

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by Berkeley Center for Social Medicine, UC Berkeley

Tuesday, October 24 I 4:00-5:30pm

Berkeley Center for Social Medicine presents:

Ways of Knowing the Ordinary in Climate Adaptation

Sarah Vaughn, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, UC Berkeley



I track the development of a Red Cross participatory climate adaptation project in a flood-prone and former urban squatter-town in Guyana in  this talk.  Based on fieldwork between 2009 and 2010, the talk focuses on one technology specific to Red Cross urban climate adaptation called the Vulnerability Capacity Assessment (VCA).  The goal of the talk is to examine the VCA as a provocation for the ethnography of climate change.  Specifically, I ask: how should we understand the work of participatory climate adaptation, which seeks to train people not to avoid but become sensitive to the ordinariness of vulnerability? I answer this question by engaging recent debates on new materialism in the social studies of science and affect theory to consider how knowledge about vulnerability is understood as an ‘ordinary’ dimension of everyday encounters with climate change. 

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, UC Berkeley and Joint UCSF/UCB PhD Program in Medical Anthropology

Spring 2017

Tuesday, April 4 I 4:00-5:30pm

Berkeley Center for Social Medicine presents:

"What Gets Inside: Violent Entanglements and Toxic Boundaries in Mexico City"

Elizabeth Roberts, Associate Professor, Anthropology, University of Michigan



Entanglement is a key concept in contemporary science and technology studies (STS).  By tracing all the contingent and uncertain relations that endow objects with seemingly stable boundaries, entanglement allows us to see how such boundaries restrict our ability to know the world better.  This talk deploys the concept of entanglement in an examination of contemporary life in a working-class Mexico City neighborhood, Colonia Periferico, and a longitudinal environmental health project that studies the neighborhood’s residents.  While entanglement is useful for analyzing the study (e.g., for reconnecting variables that the scientists have isolated), my examination of the entanglement of working-class bodies with NAFTA and the ongoing War on Drugs shows that the concept has its limits.  For working-class residents of Mexico City life is already deeply entangled with chronic economic and political instability shaped through the violent ravages of transnational capital.  To explore the utility and limits of entanglement, Roberts traces how residents in Col. Periferico seek stability by making boundaries to keep out the disruptive effects of police and public health surveillance. Col. Periferico’s toxic boundaries, which include a sewage-filled dam, cement dust, and freeway exhaust, are clearly entangled with residents’ health.  They get inside. These entanglements are the price paid for a remarkable stability within Col. Periferico’s boundaries, where children can play on the streets and attentive care for drug-addicted and disabled residents is part of everyday life. Additionally, residents would like to share in the privilege of inhabiting a world where objects can be experienced separate from the relations that make them; a world with reliable drinking water and accurate blood lead measurements. With the goal of knowing the world better, then, STS might complicate celebratory calls for the uncertainty of entanglement by taking into account both the practices that make boundaries, and what boundaries have to offer.   

Co-sponsored by Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society, UC Berkeley and Medical Anthropology (UCB-UCSF)

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Monday, March 13 I 4:00-5:00pm

Berkeley Center for Social Medicine presents: 

"Fighting for Health Equity in 2017 and Beyond"

Congresswoman Barbara Lee

With welcoming remarks by Nicholas B. Dirks, Chancellor, University of California, Berkeley



Affordable, accessible, high-quality healthcare is a fundamental human right. Congresswoman Lee served as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus during the drafting of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and worked to ensure strong provisions that expand health care access, address health disparities and create incentives for people to live healthy lives. As a psychiatric social worker, Congresswoman Lee is dedicated to ensuring everyone has access to affordable and high-quality healthcare, especially the most vulnerable. Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s main healthcare focus is always on health disparities and health equity, especially for racial and ethnic minorities. Congresswoman Lee is strongly opposed to any efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and will continue to fight to ensure that we all have access to affordable, quality healthcare.

Chan Sun Auditorium, 2050 Valley Life Sciences Building

Co-sponsored by the Schools of Public Health and Social Welfare, UC Berkeley, and Samuel Merritt University

Thursday - Friday, February 9-10 

Berkeley Center for Social Medicine presents:

"Circulating Health: Mediatization and the (Im)Mobilization of Medical Subjects and Objects"

This interdisciplinary, international conference features scholars from Belgium, Canada, Germany, Singapore, the UK, and the USA. The conference explores intersections between health and media, including how health news shapes conceptions of the body, life, death, race, health, disease, and health care and ideas about what constitutes knowledge about health, who has it, who needs it, and what sorts of rights and obligations it engenders. 

Location: Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall, UC Berkeley

Sponsored by: Berkeley Center for Social Medicine and Institute of International Studies

Co-sponsored by: Department of Anthropology, Graduate School of Journalism, Townsend Center for the Humanities, and School of Public Health, Berkeley Media Studies Group of the Public Health Institute, and the Folklore Graduate Program

Fall 2016

Friday, November 4 I 12:00-6:00pm

Structural competency is a new framework for understanding and addressing the inequalities that make us sick. This framework analyzes institutional and structural hierarchies and discrimination in order to respond to the ways these lead to sickness and disease. This conference, the first focused on public health and structural competency, will bring together national and local experts and community organizations to imagine paths towards a more equal and healthy future.

 Keynote: Helena Hansen, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Anthropology, New York University. “Structural Competency for Public Health.”  

CRSC Colloquia Series:

Wednesday, October 26 | 12:00-1:30 pm
Julia Chinyere Oparah, Associate Provost and Professor and Co-Chair of Ethnic Studies, Mills College 
Research justice is a strategic framework within which those directly affected by structural violence and discrimination use research tools in order to achieve self determination and lasting social change. Based on a term coined by DataCenter, an Oakland-based research collective, this movement toward community-driven research demands that academic researchers interrogate questions of power, privilege and accountability in our research praxis. Using a research justice approach, Oparah worked alongside members of Black Women Birthing Justice to document black women's experiences of childbirth, and to publish an anthology of critical essays and testimonies on black bodies and birth justice. Their research uncovered birthing as a site of disabling, trauma or even death for black women and gender non-conforming people. In this talk, Oparah explores her experience as an activist scholar in the movement to #LiberateBlackBirth and shares both the transformative power and the dilemmas of research justice.
Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way
Co-sponsored by Center for Race & Gender Social Movements Working Group and Berkeley Center for Social Medicine 

Spring 2016

Tuesday, April 7, 2016

"Chasing the Dragon: The Malleable Addict and Shaming in a Chinese Therapeutic Community"

Sandra Teresa Hyde, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, McGill University, and Visiting Scholar, ISSI

Until the late 1990s, convicted Chinese illegal drug users were considered criminals and placed in either the justice system’s drug prisons or in labor camps. Today, while the drug prison and the labor camp still exist, a small group of psychiatrists and AIDS activists who want to embrace what Foucault labeled the humanism of the asylum provides clinical residential care at "Sunlight." As such there are two competing ideologies on controlling drug epidemics in China: the dominant one is punitive and the other therapeutic; however, within these two ideological positions, there remains a massive disjuncture between the reality of everyday life and official policy. In this paper I focus on the intersection of subjectivity and the social-psychological dimensions of individual and collective lives in the onslaught of globalization and illegal drug consumption. I ask: 1) how do Chinese users of illegal street drugs learn to reform their emotions in an effort to rethink the modern Chinese healthy citizen? And 2) how does one write a clinical ethnography of the emotions in a therapeutic community in contemporary China?  Sunlight is a clinical space that rises and falls within a particular set of institutions and ideas that travel across the globe -- behavior modification, AA/Narcotics Anonymous, Mind/Body treatments, abstinence -- what do these modalities say about how ‘a complicated kindness’ travels?  I end by problematizing the conditions and practices within Sunlight therapeutic community, where we find new kinds of post-millennial citizens performing therapeutic rituals that lead to a complicated kind of care and healing.  

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by the Center for Chinese Studies

Fall 2015

Friday, October 23, 2015

Theory in Action: Violence in the Margins

Javier Auyero, Professor of Latin American Sociology, University of Texas, Austin

Philippe Bourgois, Professor of Anthropology and Family and Community Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Professor of Medical Anthropology, UC Berkeley

James Quesada, Professor of Anthropology, San Francisco State University, as moderator and discussant

Violence at the Urban Margins (Oxford University Press, 2015) brings together scholars across disciplines working on a perplexing question. How did Latin America emerge from decades of extreme violence — revolutionary, counter-insurgency, and military state  — at the end of the 20th century only to plunge into a cauldron of delinquent, criminal, interpersonal, and political state/para-state violence under democratic regimes? Violence in the inner-cities of North America is another matter, though linked through the drug trade and forced migrations, as well as to US militancy and wars abroad that have come home to roost. Our purpose is to ignite a North-South hemispheric dialogue and debate on “theory in action” — the creative uses of diverse theoretical, analytical and ethnographic/methodological tools applied to the study of the networks of trans-national, state, paramilitary, criminal, global and local perpetrators, collaborators, victims, and bystanders of urban terror in the Americas. 

Sponsored by Berkeley Center for Social Medicine, Medical Anthropology, UC Berkeley-UCSF Critical Social Medicine Working Group, Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice, and Center for Latin American Studies

Fall 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Children at the Border, Children at the Margins: Health, Responsibility, and Immigration

Stefano M. Bertozzi, Dean and Professor of Health Policy & Management, Public Health, UC Berkeley

Lariza Dugan-Cuadra, Executive Director, CARECEN Central American Resource Center

Seth Holmes, Assistant Professor, Public Health and Medical Anthropology, UC Berkeley

Rubén Martínez, Journalist and Author of Desert America, Crossing Over, and The New Americans

Casey Peek, Producer of “New World Border”

Adrienne Pine, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, American University

Patricia Baquedano-López, Chair, Center for Latino Policy Research, and Associate Professor, Education, UC Berkeley, as moderator

Sponsored by Berkeley Center for Social Medicine and Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. Co-sponsored by Center for Latino Policy Research, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues and School of Public Health

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Political Therapeutics in Italy

Cristiana Giordano, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, UC Davis

In this paper, I discuss the experience of Italian clinical ethno-psychiatry as an emerging technique that provides culturally appropriate therapeutic services exclusively to foreigners, political refugees, and victims of torture and trafficking. This clinical practice has a political impact on other Italian institutions (such as the Catholic Church, the police, and social services) involved in aid programs for foreigners that increasingly turn to ethno-psychiatrists to consult on how to shape culturally and psychologically appropriate interventions for foreigners. The specificity of Italian ethno-psychiatry, though, can only be understood against the backdrop of the debates around the de-institutionalization of the mentally ill and the radical critique of public institutions initiated by Franco Basaglia and the de-institutionalization movement in the early 1970s. Crucial to the Italian context is also the work of Antonio Gramsci and his reflections on the relationships between hegemony and subaltern cultures, in addition to the role of the organic intellectual in creating a field of political action that could involve subalterns in defining what counts as politics. Through an ethnography of clinical cases and interactions between ethno-psychiatrists and local communities, I show how these legacies intersect in the practice of Italian ethno-psychiatry in ways that are broadly relevant not only for the politics of alterity within clinical settings, but also for critiquing psychiatric, legal, and moral categories of inclusion. This clinical practice allows for a re-thinking of the political and phenomenological grounds of existence, while also offering a critical frame to issues of "global mental health."

Berkeley Center for Social Medicine
2420 Bowditch Street #5670
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-5670
TEL: 510.642.0813
FAX: 510.642.8674
YouTube  Instagram  Twitter  FaceBook


Copyright UC Regents and UC Berkeley