157. Gellnerovský seminář – Prof. Nancy Scheper-Hughes



Česká asociace pro sociální antropologii


Masarykova česká sociologická společnost

ve spolupráci s

Fakultou humanitních studií UK

Vás srdečně zvou na



Gellnerovský seminář založen Jiřím Musilem a Petrem Skalníkem v roce 1998

který se bude konat


ve středu 27. dubna 2016 od 16:30 hod.


v New York University,  Praha 1,

Malé náměstí 2, 4. poschodí, místnost Masaryk




Prof. Nancy Scheper-Hughes

University of California, Berkeley


na téma


Anthropology of Evil




Yasar ABU-GHOSH, v.r., Zdeněk UHEREK, v.r., Alena MILTOVÁ, v.r.


[PDF ke stažení]


Nancy Scheper-Hughes

is the Chancellor’s Professor of Anthropology and the chair of the Doctoral  Program  in  Medical  Anthropology  at  the  Department  of  Anthropology  of  UC Berkeley.  Her  long-standing  influence  on  the  discipline  has  been  paved  by  a  number  of transformative  research  agendas,  her  investigation  of  controversial  topics  and  provocative writing style. She has inquired into topics ranging from AIDS and human rights in Cuba, death squads and the extermination of street kids in Brazil, the Catholic Church, clerical celibacy, and child sex abuse, to the repatriation of the brain of a famous Yahi Indian, Ishi to the Pit River people of Northern California. Her most recent research is a multi-sited ethnographic study  of  the  global  traffic  in  humans  for  their  organs.  Her  examination  of  structural  and political violence, of what she calls „small wars and invisible genocides“ has allowed her to develop  a  so-called  ‚militant‘  anthropology,  which  has  been  broadly  applied  to  medicine, psychiatry, and to the practice of anthropology. She best known for her ethnographies Saints, Scholars and Schizophrenics: Mental Illness in Rural Ireland (2001, Berkeley: University of California Press) investigating schizophrenia among rural Irish bachelors, and Death without Weeping: The Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil (1993, Berkeley: University of California Press) portraying the plight of motherhood in times of high infant mortality among the poor in Brazil. She is also the co-editor of agenda setting Commodifying Bodies (with Loïc Wacquant, 2003,  London:  Sage),  and  of  a  comprehensive  anthology  Violence  in  War  and  Peace:  an Anthology (with Philippe Bourgois, 2003, London and Malden, Mass: Basil Blackwell). She is also the co-founder (with Lawrence Cohen) and Director of Organs Watch, a medical human rights project which since 1999 unravels the global traffic in human organs.


Anthropology of Evil

Evil is not an intuitive anthropological topic. As our  discipline is based  on  epistemological openness and a deep respect and reserve against moral judgment in the face of strangers whose values,  beliefs  and  practices  might  be  radically  different  from  our  own.  For  good  reason, anthropologists  are  bloodhounds  on  the  scent  of  the  good  in  studying  cultural  and  moral worlds  that  are  often  stigmatized,  misrecognized,  and  deeply  misunderstood.  Nonetheless, ‘culture’ can be a fetish and cultural and moral relativism is best seen as a necessary first step, a  methodological  tool  that  allows  us  to  engage  with  people,  societies,  and  cultures  whose views of the human, the good life, and the spirit world deviate from ‘our’ own.  It need not end there. After setting up the complex chessboard, anthropologists need to play the game.  I will argue that there are some common understandings of what constitutes radical evil, drawing on ethnological,  ethnographic,  ontological,  psychological,  philosophical  theodicies  and homodicies.