Media Advisory: Carnegie Mellon's CAUSE Lecture Series
To Host Latin American Social History Expert Okezi T. Otovo
Carnegie Mellon University's Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE) will host Okezi T. Otovo, an assistant professor of history at the University of Vermont, to discuss "Making Better Babies and Perfecting the Race: Mothering and Nation Building in Brazil." Otovo, who received her bachelor's degree in history from Carnegie Mellon in 1998, is a specialist in 19th and 20th century Latin American social history. She analyzes the welfare state to understand political and ideological tensions in Brazil, particularly as they affected the lives of poor women of color.
In the early 20th century, Brazilian folkloric images of black women depicted them as caregivers to white, upper-class children. Historians know little about the actual experiences of black women during this period. However, the formation of Brazil's public health system in the 1920s began to shed light on the health conditions of black working mothers and their children. By using records from the movement, Otovo will share how access to state health services affected black women's lives. Her research reveals that Brazil's classification of childbearing as a medical activity had national implications on racial relations and national identity building as a modern political project.
CAUSE is part of the Department of History within Carnegie Mellon's College of Humanities and Social Sciences
. It develops programs of graduate and postdoctoral training, scholarly research, data collection, publications and education. For more information, visit http://www.hss.cmu.edu/cause/
Friday, Feb. 12; 4:30 p.m. refreshments; 5 p.m. lecture and discussion
Carnegie Mellon University, Baker Hall A53.