Mittwoch, 25. Mai 2016, 17:00 - 18:30 iCal

Wednesday Seminar - Nádia Farage

Body Matters: a Note on Anti-Vaccinism in Modern Brazil

Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie
Universitätsstraße 7, NIG 4. Stock, HS C, 1010 Wien


The presentation will discuss the presence of libertarian and naturist theses in the biopolitical resistance in the first decades of 20th century Brazil. The vigour of anarchism in the labour movement in Brazil at the turn of the century, as in South America at large, has been thoroughly studied, with special attention paid to crucial anarchist interventions concerning cultural practices, such as education or women’s rights. The incidence, though, of naturist theses on the anarchist movement in Brazil has not been scrutinised. Notwithstanding, South European naturist ideas and practices reached the labour movement in Brazil, nourishing its resistance against State biopolitics. Indeed, at the beginning of that century, authoritarian biopolitical measures were enforced in Brazil, among them obligatory small-pox vaccination. In Rio de Janeiro, then the federal capital, the population’s resistance to obligatory vaccination culminated in street riots in 1904. Naturist theory had a considerable role in that resistance, unveiling the link between vaccination and vivisection, upon which the making of vaccine depended. In so doing, they advanced the critique of experimental science, which targeted vulnerable bodies, be they animals or workers. From the perspective of a historical anthropology, we shall explore the premises of such a critique, in particular its theory of substance, which implies notions of body, the living being and the political-existential similarity between human and other animals.

Nádia Farage lehrt am Centro de Pesquisa em História Social Da Cultura, Department of Philosophy and Human Sciences, University of Campinas, Brazil.

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Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie


Mag. Marie-Therese Hartwig
Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie