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Department of Social Medicine

Home 2011 Troubling Suicide: Violence, Women’s Agency, and the Making of a Bourgeois Domesticity in South India

Troubling Suicide: Violence, Women’s Agency, and the Making of a Bourgeois Domesticity in South India

What
  • Talk
Where Toy Lounge, 4th Floor, Dey Hall, UNC-CH
Contact Name Jocelyn Chua
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March WMST LUNCH TALK

Dr. Jocelyn Lim Chua
Troubling Suicide: Violence, Women’s Agency, and the Making of a Bourgeois Domesticity in South India

In this talk, I engage the vast repertoire of ways middle class women would joke about, speak of, imagine and gesture at willful death during my ethnographic fieldwork in the state of Kerala, India’s so‐called “Suicide Capital.” Death which is not only willfully approached, but is moreover enacted by and against women’s own bodies, raises unique analytic and moral challenges given pejorative assumptions about nonfatal suicidal behavior within the Western clinical literature. Foregoing clinical and scholarly approaches to suicide that consign these behaviors to the pathological, the irrational or the anti‐social, I demonstrate how women’s invocations of willful death can enable tactical vulnerabilities central to the reproduction and maintenance of “modern” forms of middle class family life.

Dr. Jocelyn Lim Chua is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology as part of the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity at UNC. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in
2009. Her dissertation was entitled “The Productivity of Death: The Social and Political Life of Suicide in Kerala, South India.” Dr. Chua’s research and teaching interests include medical anthropology, biomedicine, the politics of affect, governmentality and biopolitics, death, mental health, psychiatry and psychology, social suffering and the everyday, technology and the body, violence, migration and diaspora, postcolonial studies, South Asia, and Kerala. She has conducted extensive field research in India, including Kerala, Mumbai, and Karnataka.

Wednesday, March 24, 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Toy Lounge, 4th Floor, Dey Hall
Cookies and drinks will be provided. Please bring your lunch.
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