Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

 See the
Conversations with History Blog

See a webcast of this interview:

Studying the Human Condition: Habits of an Anthropologist: Conversation with Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Professor of Anthropology, U.C. Berkeley; 12/14/99 by Harry Kreisler.

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is Nancy Scheper-Hughes. Nancy Scheper-Hughes is a Professor of Anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley, where she also directs the Doctoral Program in Critical Studies of Medicine, Science, and the Body. Her many publications include Saints, Scholars, and Schizophrenics, which received the Margaret Meade Award, and Death Without Weeping: the Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil, which received several awards including the International Pitre Prize and the Wellcome Medal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. She is currently writing a book entitled Who's the Killer: Violence and Democracy in the New South Africa.

  1. Background ... diversity of community ... influence of parents ... books read ... "two centes for welfare" ... first trip abroad ... college ... radicalization in the sixties ... civil rights movement ... Peace Corps
  2. Civil Rights Work in the U.S. ... integration in the South ... Hunger in America
  3. Anthropological Studies: Schizophrenia in Ireland ... themes ... interviewing ... understanding a community ... feminism and gender insights
  4. Anthropological Studies: Infant Mortality in Brazil ... uncovering the story ... motherhood entails choice
  5. Anthropological Insights ... obligation of the anthropologist ... getting a feel for a community's life ... survival ... skills needed ... intellectual/activist dichotomy
  6. Lessons Learned ... doing anthropology ... enormous curiosity ... writing from life ... between thought and action

© Copyright 2000, Regents of the University of California

Photos by Jane Scherr. Site questions: Email iis_webmgr at