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Department ofSociology


Dr. Cecília MacDowell Santos

Dr. Cecília MacDowell Santos

Dr. Cecília MacDowell Santos

Dr. Cecília MacDowell Santos was the Visiting Scholar in the Spring Quarter of 2016. Professor Santos' busy schedule with us included meetings with faculty, staff, and students, as well as serving as the speaker at the Senior Dinner and panel member of the Career and Graduate School Event. She also gave a well-received campus talk titled, “Beyond Vernacularization: Mobilizing and Translating 'Women's Human Rights' in Multiple Directions.” In Professor Santos' words: "This paper presentation draws on research that I have conducted on transnational legal mobilization and women’s human rights in Brazil. Based on cases of women’s rights violations presented against the State of Brazil by ‘victims’ as well as human rights and feminist NGOs to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), this paper addresses the strategies and types of knowledge formulated, exchanged/translated and negotiated by the petitioners… It is important to recognize the ecologies of women’s human rights grammars, without undermining the agency and activist practices-knowledges of grassroots organizations and ‘victims’ of women’s human rights violations."

Prof. Santos received her PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master in Law from the University of São Paulo. She joined the University of San Francisco in 2001, and since 2006 she is also a research member of the Center for Social Studies at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. She teaches courses on gender and development, globalization, sociology of law, and Brazilian culture and society. Her research focuses on legal mobilization within and across national borders, violence, political memory, and women's and human rights. Her numerous publications include works titled, Women's Police Stations: Gender, Violence, and Justice in São Paulo, Brazil (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), Desarquivando a Ditadura: Memória e Justiça no Brasil [Uncovering the Dictatorship: Memory and Justice in Brazil] (Hucitec Press, 2009), and Repressão e Memória Política no Contexto Ibero–Brasileiro: Estudos sobre Brasil, Guatemala, Moçambique, Peru e Portugal [Repression and Political Memory in the Ibero–Brazilian Context: Studies of Brazil, Guatemala, Mozambique, Peru, and Portugal] (Brazilian Ministry of Justice, 2010), and A Mobilização Transnacional do Direito: Portugal e o Tribunal Europeu dos Direitos Humanos [Transnational Legal Mobilization: Portugal and the European Court of Human Rights] (Almedina Press, 2012).

In 2015, Professor Santos won the Post-Sabbatical Merit Award in recognition of her "exceptional productivity in research, scholarly, or creative work.”