Kimberly Theidon

Kimberly Theidon

(617) 627-2731
Research/Areas of Interest: Latin American Studies, with an emphasis on the Andean Region Critical theory applied to medicine, psychology and anthropology Gender studies Domestic, structural and political violence Human rights and international humanitarian law Truth commissions, transitional justice and reconciliation The politics of post-war reparations Comparative peace processes Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programs for ex-combatants US counter-narcotics policy


  • BA, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, United States, 1991
  • MPH, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, United States, 1993
  • MA, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, United States, 1997
  • PhD, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, United States, 2002


I am a writer and medical anthropologist focusing on Latin America. I am proud to be the product of the California public school system: I earned my Bachelor's Degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and my Master in Public Health and PhD in Medical Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. My research interests include political violence, transitional justice, gender studies, the environmental humanities, and critical security studies.

I am the author of many articles, commissioned reports, four books and an edited volume. Entre Prójimos: El conflicto armado interno y la política de la reconciliación en el Perú (Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, 1st edition 2004; 2nd edition 2009) was awarded the Latin American Studies Association 2006 Premio Iberoamericano Book Award Honorable Mention for outstanding book in the social sciences published in Spanish or Portuguese. Entre Prójimos served as the primary inspiration for the film La Teta Asustada (The Milk of Sorrow), Claudia Llosa's award-winning and Academy Award-nominated movie about sexual violence, memory and the complicated issue of reconciliation in ethnically-divided Peru.

My second book, Intimate Enemies: Violence and Reconciliation in Peru (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012) has been reviewed in London Review of Books, Foreign Affairs, American Ethnologist, The Times Literary Supplement, Journal for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, Human Rights Quarterly, The Americas: Quarterly Review of Latin American History, Anthropology in Action, Anthropological Quarterly, Journal of Latin American Studies, Law, Culture and the Humanities, Inside Story, ReVista, Tulsa Law Review, Hispanic America Historical Review, Journal of Anthropological Research, PoLar: Journal of Political and Legal Anthropology, Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, Journal of Peace, Conflict and Development, Revista Andina, Journal of Human Rights, Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, Dialectical Anthropology, and Latin American Politics and Society. Intimate Enemies was awarded the 2013 Honorable Mention from the Washington Office on Latin America-Duke University Libraries Book Award for Human Rights in Latin America, and the 2013 Honorable Mention for the Eileen Basker Prize from the Society for Medical Anthropology for research on gender and health.

I have co-edited, with colleague Dyan Mazurana, Challenging Conceptions: Children Born of Wartime Rape and Sexual Exploitation, Oxford University Press, 2023. This volume brings together ethnographically rich research conducted in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Colombia, Iraq, Kenya, Mozambique, the Netherlands, Peru, Rwanda, Somalia, Uganda and the United States with the children, their mothers, and the wider communities in which they forge their frequently precarious lives. These compelling chapters underscore the importance of anthropology to the development of more humane and effective policies.

My most recent book is Legacies of War: Violence, Ecologies and Kin, Duke University Press, July 2022. Drawing on my research in Peru and Colombia, I consider the multiple environments in which conception, pregnancy and childbirth unfold, environments that may lie far beyond the control of any one woman. From toxic chemicals to land mines, from rivers tinged with blood to angry mountains, my goal was to capture the multiple environments and actors that play a role in "distributed reproduction," and to consider the human and more-than-human wages of war. Legacies brings ethnography, the environmental humanities and epigenetics into conversation to trace the contours of an explicitly feminist theory of harm. Legados de Guerra: violencia, ecología y parentesco is now available at the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos.

I am currently completing A Violent Peace: Theaters of War in Colombia, which is based on my research with former combatants from the paramilitaries, the FARC and the ELN, as well as with represe
(read more)