Friday, 6 October 2017

SURCLA Seminars at Sydney University

Hola a tod@s,

You are warmly invited to our next research seminars. Please note different venue and days for seminars jointly organised with the Department of Anthropology. Full details below.

All Welcome!
SURCLA  Seminar Series 
All presentations will begin promptly at 5:30pm
SLC Common Room 536, level 5Brennan-MacCallum Building A18.

10 October  2017

Carolina Maria Quesada Cordero (University of Sydney)
Sexual and Reproductive Health in a Rural Community: Understanding Costa Rica’s health care system and its influences

This paper seeks to explain some of the influences that impact the delivery of sexual and reproductive health in a rural Health Care Facility in Costa Rica. Throughout the paper I will identify the processes that have contributed to the medicalisation of sexuality in Costa Rica. The paper will highlight global and local discourses related to sexual and reproductive health, vis-à-vis the existing sexual and reproductive practices of the population of a mixed (indigenous and non-indigenous) community. Throughout the paper I will show that Costa Rica has been greatly influenced by international agencies, starting with the Rockefeller Foundation all through the past century, and in recent years with the implementation of programs developed by multilateral agencies like WHO and PAHO, and embedded in the Millennium Development Goals. Furthermore, these programs are supported by bilateral organisations like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In this paper, I will also point to the Catholic Church’s influence and stronghold on Costa Rica’s legislation (through the constitution) as an important agent in determining Costa Rica’s sexual and reproductive health policies. Overall, the interactions between these global influences, have resulted in the sexual and reproductive health initiatives in Costa Rica, which can be characterised as conservative and centred in medical interventions. These initiatives are further influenced by the health care professionals implementing them, and their concerns in relation to the targeted population. Of particular interest for this paper are the health care professionals’ concerns with teenage pregnancy, contraception and sexually transmitted diseases.

Anthropology Department Seminars at the University of Sydney - SURCLA

Seminars: Thursdays 3:00–5:00 p.m. 
Seminar Room 148, R. C. Mills Building, Level 1, A26
19 October 2017
Erin Fitz-Henry (University of Melbourne)
Becoming-Woman: CSR and the “Return of the Repressed” in Neo-Extractivist Ecuador

In a 2011 essay, Arturo Escobar observed that there has recently been an intensification of interest on the part of both activists and academics in reclaiming the "subordinated" sides of a range of familiar dualisms, including "emotions, feelings, matter, non-scientific knowledges, body and places, [and] non-humans" (Escobar 2011). Using this observation as my point of departure, this paper analyses the ways that two extractive companies in Ecuador participate discursively in this "return of the repressed” (MacFarlane 2016). Drawing on six months of ethnographic fieldwork between 2012 and 2015 with a gold mining company and an oil refinery, I describe how these corporations institutionalize programs of corporate social responsibility that explicitly prioritize the “needs” of women and non-humans. Specifically, I argue that these highly masculinist industries no longer rely primarily on technocratic languages to distance themselves from the high political stakes of their projects. Instead, they are more and more actively involved in cultivating themselves as allies of women and as uniquely, locally attentive to the ecosystems within which they operate. At a time of dramatically intensifying extractivism throughout the Andes, better understanding these discursive strategies allows us to begin to better theorize some of the surprising ways that “women’s rights” and the "rights of nature" are being mobilized by corporations to encourage seductive re-imaginings of both oil and gold. Such theorizations raise urgent questions about what happens when critical theory is embraced by corporate social responsibility managers.

Dr. Erin Fitz-Henry joined the School of Social and Political Sciences in 2011, after completing a PhD in anthropology at Princeton University and an M.Div. at Harvard University. Her primary interests are transnational social movements, particularly those related to radical environmental politics, U.S. led-militarization and its legacies, and post-neoliberal futures. She is the author of U.S. Military Bases and Anti-Military Organizing: An Ethnography of an Air Force Base (2015), and her articles have appeared in American Ethnologist, Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, Oceania, Liminalities, and InterGraph Journal of Dialogical Anthropology.

nthropology Department Seminars at the University of Sydney - SURCLA

Seminars: Thursdays 3:00–5:00 p.m. 
Seminar Room 148, R. C. Mills Building, Level 1, A26
26  October 2017
Luis  Angosto-Ferrández  (University of Sydney)
On colour blindness and Latin American politics: perceptions of race and ethnicity among visually impaired people in Chile y Venezuela

The exponential increase of research revolving around race and ethnicity is far from translating into a consensus on the way these concepts can be defined – or even on the appropriateness of their use as analytical tools. Yet ‘race’ and ‘ethnicity’ continue to be used as analytical categories to discuss and intervene in a variety of social issues ranging from discrimination to differentiated rights. The ideological premises that orient these discussions most often reproduce the assumption that social identity markers are visible and primarily related to phenotypical characteristics. The discursive appeal of the ‘colour blind’ metaphor that so impetuously influenced normative debates theorising non-discriminatory societies and institutions precisely rests on the widespread conception that race categorisation (and racism by extension) ultimately stem from people’s visible characteristics. This premise constrains the analysis of racism by overlooking its constitutive social processes, yet it continues to hold sway among researchers, policy makers and wider public. Against that background, in this paper I discuss findings of my field research on perceptions of race and ethnicity among visually impaired people in Chile and Venezuela, two countries with quite distinct class and ethnic formations.

Luis Fernando Angosto-Ferrández is a lecturer in the departments of Anthropology and Latin American Studies. He has extensive fieldwork experience in Latin America and Spain and has lived, worked and researched in Venezuela for nearly a decade. In addition to his scholarly work, he is a contributor to various public media outlets.

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