Aceh's Women Warriors: Narratives on Defending Children, Houses, Land and Men

4:00 pm on Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Anthropology Seminar Room PLS 102 | 232 Bay State Rd
BOSTON UNIVERSITY SPRING SEMESTER LECTURES IN ANTHROPOLOGY: VIOLENCE, GENDER, NATIONALISM, AND MEMORY || Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Department of Sociology, Harvard University. || "This paper explores gendered dimensions of experiences and responses related to years of civil insecurity and armed combat, drawing examples from Aceh Indonesia. Women living in high conflict rural areas of Aceh over three decades were not only exposed to combat, conflict, and trauma, as were men; many were also protectors of their male kin, buffering their husbands, sons and brothers from the military forces who hunted them. I found that the stories women told me as I carried out "post-conflict" mental health programs were not just stories of victimhood but of bravery and resilience, of humor and cynicism, and of women defending their men, children, houses and land during the conflict. These narratives resonate with the public images of women warriors of the Acehnese Sultanates of pre-colonial periods, of Aceh in times past. Might these historical symbols influence the pathways women take in constructing a post-conflict political subjectivity in now rather peaceful and somewhat democratic Aceh? What might comparative perspectives add to understanding gendered dimensions of post-conflict political subjectivities?" || Cosponsored by CURA and BUSCA || Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to