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University News Services

April 3, 2006

Brown To Speak About Afro-Brazilian Religions April 6

Diana Brown, associate professor of anthropology and Latin American and Iberian studies and co-chair of the gender studies program at Bard College, will present "Between Black and White: Umbanda, Candomble' and Brazilian Hybridity" at 3 p.m. Thursday, April 6. The event is in E205 Adler Journalism Building (AJB). Her speech is the first in a series of lectures for the Spring 2006 Latin merican Studies Program (LASP) seminar.

Umbanda and Candomble' are distinct Afro-Brazilian religions, practiced primarily in Brazil. Both religions were brought to the region by African slaves during the colonial period and began to flourish in the 19th and 20th centuries. Both Umbanda and Candomble' continue to be practiced widely throughout Brazil and surrounding countries.

Brown, a medical anthropologist, received her Ph.D. from Columbia University. She teaches courses that focus on the cultural construction of health, medicine and the body. She published "Umbanda: Religion and Politics in Urban Brazil" in 1994 and has had articles in "American Anthropologist," "American Ethnologist," "Liberian Studies Journal" and several edited volumes. She has conducted research in Brazil and Liberia, which has been supported by fellowships granted by Fulbright-Hays, Ford Foundation, Lehmann College, CUNY and Columbia University. Brown is chair of the Columbia University Seminar on Brazil and co-chair of Metropolitan Medical Anthropology Association.

The UI Latin American Studies Program (LASP) and International Programs sponsor Brown's visit.

For more information about the seminar or special accommodations to attend, contact Francesco Molinari at 319-335-0096 or

LASP fosters cross-disciplinary teaching and research on Central and South America, Mexico and the Caribbean. The program uses this "region" as a framework for exploring thematic issues in the disciplines of anthropology, art, history, political science and women's studies. LASP is affiliated with UI International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and the dean of International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and to promote global scholarship, research and training.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,; Program: Francesco Molinari, 319-335-0096,; Writer: Kelli Andresen