Judith Gibbons, professor emerita of psychology and women’s studies at St. Louis University, will discuss the social, psychological, legal and moral dimensions of intercountry adoption as the concluding speaker of this semester’s Human Rights and Genocide Speaker Series. The talk will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library.
Discussing the advantages for children, such as physical, cognitive and emotional gains, and increased access to education and healthcare, Gibbons will address other issues such as the corruption that can stem from economic disparities between countries. Her talk also will examine human rights violations of child theft, baby selling and deliberate deception of birth mothers, as she encourages the audience to think in more complex ways about the rights of the child.
Much of her lecture will draw on her latest book, “Intercountry Adoption: Policies, Practices, and Outcomes,” (Ashgate Publishing, 2015), co-authored with Karen Rotabi and set to be released this month. She also is the author of “The Thoughts of Youth” (Information Age Publishing, 2004), as well as dozens of peer-reviewed papers and book chapters.
Gibbons currently serves as the inaugural editor of Division 52’s journal International Perspectives in Psychology: Research, Practice, Consultation and has dedicated her professional career to research with international youth. She taught at St. Louis University for 35 years and co-founded its Women’s Studies Department. Gibbons has given more than 100 presentations and conducted research across the globe, primarily in Guatemala.
Her work has received accolades and recognition, including the Nancy McNeir Ring Award for outstanding teaching at Saint Louis University; the Missouri Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in Higher Education; and the American Psychological Association’s 2015 Outstanding International Psychologist Award. She has served as the president of the Society for Cross-Cultural Research and as president-elect of the Inter-American Society of Psychology.
In conjunction with the talk, there will be a dinner reception at 6 p.m. in the Intercultural Affairs Center.
The Human Rights and Genocide Symposium was initiated and has been sustained by generous grants from Dr. Edward Franks ’72. The Symposium seeks to improve understanding of all life-annihilation processes present in our world and to help participants learn more about the circumstances in which genocide is perpetrated.
This semester, the Colleges also hosted best-selling poet and prose writer Peter Balakian, and internationally renowned Holocaust researcher and human rights activist Father Patrick Desbois, as part of the Series.