Who owns the body?

13 SEPTEMBER 00 |An international group of human rights activists and scholars will come together on campus September 21-23 to address the unusual question: "Who Owns the Body?"

In three days they will range over a broad field of issues concerning the integrity of the human body - from international trafficking in human organs to state-sponsored terrorism and the rights of Native Americans to reclaim the bones of their ancestors.

Each day of the conference at International House takes up a different aspect of the subject, beginning Wednesday night, September 20, with keynote speaker Judith Lewis Herman, clinical professor of psychiatry from Harvard University. Herman will focus attention on a huge international market in forced human and sexual labor of primarily women and children, including prostitution, which she compares to the traffic in drugs and armaments.

On Thursday, September 21, the conference considers state-sponsored torture and terror. Eric Stover and Harvey Weinstein of the campus's Human Rights Center, with Professor of Ethnic Studies Beatriz Manz, will lead discussions. Participants include Amor Masovic, a member of the Bosnian parliament; William Haglund, director of the International Forensic Program of Physicians for Human Rights; and scholars and activists from Bosnia, Croatia and South Africa.

On Friday, September 22, a thorough discussion of scientific ethics and Native American repatriation rights will bring together such participants as Walter Echohawk, director of the Native American Rights Fund, and Columbia University Professor Karl Kroeber, son of famed Berkeley anthropologist Alfred Kroeber.

On the final day, Saturday, September 23, Anthropology Professor Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Public Health Professor Guy Micco will lead a discussion of the international traffic in bodies and body parts, particularly concerning the hunt for transplant organs. Scholars from England, Canada, Germany and South Africa will participate in the discussion.

That evening the Cuban professor and physician Jorge Gonzalez will screen a film of the ceremony marking the repatriation of the remains of Che Guevara to Cuba.

Sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, the conference is free and open to the campus community and the public. Reservations are required, due to limited seating. Register at



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