LEWISBURG, Pa. — Jean Briggs, professor emeritus of anthropology at Memorial University of Newfoundland, will give the lecture, "The Abuse of Child Abuse: Looking for Values in Childrearing, Inuit and Ours," Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 7:30 p.m. in the Gallery Theatre of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University.
Briggs is an internationally renowned scholar whose work on the psychological and emotional development of Canadian Inuit children spans five decades. Recently honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Society of Psychological Anthropology, she has won numerous awards and prizes for her scholarship.
Her most recent ethnography, Inuit Morality Play, has won prizes for its contribution to humanistic anthropology and to psychoanalytical anthropology.
Inuit Morality Play is the biography of a three-year-old Inuit girl living in a hunting camp with her extended family just south of the Arctic Circle. It carefully documents her daily interactions with her parents and other kin to reconstruct the development of her understanding of her self and her social world.
According to Edmund Searles, assistant professor of anthropology at Bucknell, Briggs' lecture is based on her research on child-parent interactions (i.e. social dramas) in the Canadian Arctic.
"She will discuss why non-Inuit health professionals identify these dramas as abusive and she will compare Inuit attitudes toward child-rearing with Euroamerican ones, thereby exposing the challenges of cross-cultural understanding and cooperation,
"Briggs' appeal as a writer, an anthropologist and a student of Inuit culture transcends disciplinary boundaries and extends well beyond academia," he said.
The lecture, which is open to the public without charge, is part of the 2005-06 Lecture Series in Children's Studies sponsored by the anthropology department and cosponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs, Comparative Humanities, the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender, the departments of psychology and education, and the University Lectureship Committee. It will be followed by a booksigning in Walls Lounge.