There are moments when stories transcend geographic and culturally borders, and touch on something fundamentally and universally human. The persistent idea of changelings across Europe, and the ogbanje and abiku throughout Africa might be an example of that type of story. Join us this week as we examine the circumstances that might lead to believing your child has been replaced by an impostor from the spirit of fairy realm. From medical explanations to rare and nearly unbelievable psychological diagnoses, to the cultural needs created by unique circumstances this is a complex case full of twists and possibility. We will conclude by taking a look at a classic anthropological study on maternal love in Brazil’s shanty towns, and how things have changed there over the last 20 years.
Nancy Scheper-Hughes Lecture: