Social Suffering, Virtue Ethics and Moral Tragedy: The Perils of a Superstrong Black Mother

4:00 pm on Wednesday, March 22, 2017
6:00 pm on Wednesday, March 22, 2017
232 Bay State Road, African Studies Conference Room 505
CURA Event with Cheryl Mattingly, Professor of Anthropology, Department of Anthropology and the Division of Occupational Science and Therapy, University of Southern California This talk will explore the intimate relationship between suffering and aspirations for a good life. Drawing from ethnographic research with African American families raising children with serious illnesses and disabilities, it considers the following questions: How do responses to trauma and suffering reflect or generate aspirations for a good life, or at least a better one? How do people attempt to realize good lives even in the most barren circumstances? How do their conceptions and aspirations for a good life guide their projects of becoming, their cultivation of moral character? And, paradoxically, how may these attempts generate new possibilities and hopes but also, new and unanticipated forms of suffering, including moral tragedy?