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Kimberly Theidon

Henry J. Leir Professor of International Humanitarian Studies

Kimberly Theidon

Henry J. Leir Professor of International Humanitarian Studies
Cabot 508
The Fletcher School of Tufts University
160 Packard Ave.
Kimberly Theidon headshot
  • Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, Medical Anthropology
  • MPH, School of Public Health, University of California, Behavioral Sciences
  • B.A., University of California at Santa Cruz, Latin American Studies

Professor Theidon is a medical anthropologist focusing on Latin America. Her research interests include political violence, transitional justice, humanitarian and post-conflict interventions, gender studies and drug policy. She is the author of many articles, commissioned reports, and two books. "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. Her second book, "Intimate Enemies: Violence and Reconciliation in Peru" (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012) 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. She is currently completing two book manuscripts. "Pasts Imperfect: Working with Former Combatants in Colombia" is based on research with former combatants from the paramilitaries, the FARC and the ELN. "Sex at the Security Council: A Greater Measure of Justice" draws upon her research in Peru on sexual violence, children born of wartime rape, and the politics of reparations.

Areas of expertise
Gender in International Affairs
Humanitarian Affairs
Other Affiliations
  • Secondary Appointment, Tufts University Department of Anthropology
Research Interests
  • 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.


"First Do No Harm: Enforced Sterilizations and Gender Justice in Peru." ReVista: Harvard Review of Latin America, Fall 2014, pp. 84-87.

"Después de la verdad: legados de la violencia sexual en el Perú pos-CVR." Ideele: Revista del Instituto de Defensa Legal, No. 207, May 2011.

"El Salvador in the Aftermath of Peace: Crime, Uncertainty and the Transition to Democracy," Ellen Moodie. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania , 2010. American Anthropologist, Vol 113(4): 687-688, 2011.

Book review: "The Circulation of Children: Kinship, Adoption and Morality in Andean Peru," Jessaca Leinaweaver. Durham: Duke University Press, 2008. A Contracorrientes, Vol.7, No. 3: 374-381, 2010.

"Transiciones Conflictivas: Combatientes Desmovilizados en Colombia." With Paola Andrea Betancourt. Análisis Político, Número 58: 92-111, Setiembre-Diciembre 2006.

"La Teta Asustada: una teoria sobre la violencia de la memoria." Ideele: Revista del Instituto de Defensa Legal, No. 191, April 2009.

"Reconstructing Masculinities: The Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration of Former Combatants in Colombia." Human Rights Quarterly, 31(1): 1-34, 2009.

The Milk of Sorrow: A Theory on the Violence of Memory." Canadian Women's Studies Journal, Special Issue on Women in Latin America, Vol 27, No.1, 2009.

"Truth With Consequences: The Politics of Reparations in Post-Truth Commission Peru." With Lisa J. Laplante. Human Rights Quarterly, 29(1): 228-250, 2007.

"Transitional Subjects? The Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration of Former Combatants in Colombia." International Journal of Transitional Justice, Volume 1, No. 1: 66-90, 2007.

Book Review: "Law in a Lawless Land: Diary of a Limpieza in Colombia," Michael Taussig. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005. Journal of Anthropological Research, Vol. 63: 146-147, 2007.

"Género en Transición: Sentido Común, Mujeres y Guerra." Revista Cuadernos de Antropologia Social de la Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Número 24, 2006.

"Justice in Transition: The Micropolitics of Reconciliation in Post-War Peru." Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 50 (3): 433-457, 2006.

"The Mask and the Mirror: Facing Up to the Past in Peru." Anthropologica: Journal of the Canadian Anthropology Society, special issue on War and Peace: Anthropological Perspectives, 48(1): 87-100, 2006.

"Transitional Justice in Times of Conflict: Colombia's Ley de Justicia y Paz." With Lisa J. Laplante. Michigan Journal of International Law, Vol. 28(1):49-108, 2006.

"Entre Prójimos: Violencia y Reconciliación en el Perú. Ideele: Revista del Instituto de Defensa Legal, September, No. 157:91-96, 2003.

"Memoria, Historia y Reconciliación." Ideele: Revista del Instituto de Defensa Legal, No. 133:58-63, November, 2003.

"La Micropolítica de la Reconciliación: Practicando la Justicia en Comunidades Rurales Ayacuchanas." Revista Allpanchis, special issue on Justicia Comunitaria en los Andes, vol. 60:113-142, 2003.

"Género y Justicia." Ideele: Revista del Instituto de Defensa Legal, No. 145:16-23, March, 2002.

"Practicando la Paz en Colombia." Ideele: Revista del Instituto de Defensa Legal, No. 141:81-84, October, 2001.

"Terror's Talk: Fieldwork and War." Dialectical Anthropology 26(1):19-35, 2001.

"'El Chino ya murió, Ayacucho lo mató': Crónica de una muerte no anunciada." With Ponciano Del Pino. Ideele: Revista del Instituto de Defensa Legal, No. 127:49-53, May, 2000.

"Domesticando la Violencia: Alcohol y las Secuelas de la Guerra". Ideele: Revista del Instituto de Defensa Legal, No.120:56-63, July, 1999.

"La Política de la Identidad: Narrativas de Guerra y la Construcción de la Ciudadanía en Ayacucho." With Ponciano Del Pino. In Actores Sociales y Ciudadanía en Ayacucho. Lima: GIIDA and Servicios de Educación Rural (SER), February, 1999.

"The Role of Case Management in Substance Abuse Treatment Services for Women and Their Children." With Claire Brindis. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 29(1), January-March:79-88, 1997.

"Taking a Hit: Pregnant Drug Users and Violence." Contemporary Drug Problems 22(4):663-686, 1995.

"Sujetos Transicionales: Combatientes Desmovilizados en Colombia." With Paola Andrea Betancourt. Ideele: Revista del Instituto de Defensa Legal, two-part article, No. 176: 101-105, May 2006, and No. 177, June, 2006.

"The Mystical Force of Commensuration." Invited Commentary on "Indicators and the Problem of Translation: Measuring Child Rights in Tanzania, " by Sally Merry and Summer Wood, Current Anthropology, Vol 56(2): 223-224, 2015.


Intimate Enemies: Violence and Reconciliation in Peru. Studies in Human Rights, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012, 488 pp.

Entre Prójimos: El conflicto armado interno y la política de la reconciliación en el Perú. Instituto de Estudios Peruanos: Lima, Perú, 2004, 287 pp. (Second edition, August 2009).


"Ocultos a plena luz: Los niños nacidos de la violencia sexual en tiempos de guerra." In La Verdad Nos Hace Libres: sobre las relaciones entre filosofía, derechos humanos, religión y universidad, Miguel Giusti, Gustavo Gutiérrez and Elizabeth Salmón, eds. Lima, Peru: Fondo Editorial Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, 2015.

"Pasts Imperfect: Talking about Justice with Former Combatants in Colombia." In Genocide and Mass Violence: Memory, Symptom, and Response, Alexander Hinton and Devon Hinton, eds. New York and London: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

"Histories of Innocence: Post-War Stories in Peru." In Localizing Transitional Justice: Interventions and Priorities after Mass Violence, Rosalind Shaw, Lars Waldorf and Pierre Hazan, eds. Stanford: Stanford University Press, Studies in Human Rights, 2010.

"Commissioning Truth, Constructing Silences: The Peruvian TRC and the Other Truths of ‘Terrorists'." With Lisa. J. Laplante. In Mirrors of Justice, Kamari Maxine Clarke and Mark Goodale, eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

"Intimate Enemies: Reconciling the Present in Post-war Peru." In After Mass Crimes: Rebuilding States and Communities, Simon Chesterman, Béatrice Pouligny and Albrecht Schnabel, eds. United Nations University Press, 2006.

"Los Encapuchados: Encarándose con el pasado en el Perú. In Subjetividad y Figuras de la Memoria, Elizabeth Jelin and Susana J. Kaufman, eds. Siglo XXI, 2006.

"Toward a Social Psychology of Reconciliation." In The Psychology of Resolving Global Conflicts: From War to Peace, Mari Fitzduff and Chris E. Stout, eds. Westport, CT: Praeger Press, 2006.

"'How we learned to kill our brother': Memory, Morality and Reconciliation in Peru." In Buletin de L'Institut Français des Études Andines, No. 3 (29):539-554, Gonzálo Sanchez and Eric Lair, eds. Bogota: Colombia, 2001.

"‘Así es Como Vive Gente': Procesos Deslocalizados y Culturas Emergentes." With Ponciano Del Pino. In Cultura y Globalización, Carlos Ivan Degregori and Gonzalo Portocarrero, eds. Lima: Red para el Desarrollo de las Ciencias Sociales en el Perú, 1999.

"Desarmando el Sujeto: Recordando la Guerra e Imaginando la Ciudadanía en Ayacucho, Perú". In Violencia y estrategias colectivas en la Región Andina, Gonzálo Sanchez and Eric Lair, eds., pp. 178-199. Instituto Frances de Estudios Políticos, Bogotá: Colombia and Editorial Norma, Mexico City: Mexico, 2004.

"Hablar en el Terror: Trabajo de campo en medio del conflicto armado." In Investigación y Desplazamiento Forzado: Reflexiones Eticas y Metodológicas, Martha Nubia Bello, ed. Bogotá: Colciencias, 2006.


"Ecuaciones Coloniales y la Reconciliación Nacional." La República, October 17, 2002.

"Ecuaciones Coloniales." La Calle, two-part editorial, Saturday October 12 and Monday October 14, 2002.

"Why Fujimori is so Hard to Beat." With Ponciano Del Pino. Los Angeles Times, Sunday Editorial Section, May 21, 2000.