Jadwiga Pieper-Mooney

About Jadwiga Pieper-Mooney

In my research and teaching, I focus on Latin America, Gender, and Comparative/Global and World History. I am especially interested in human rights, women's rights, gender equity, and notions of inclusion and exclusion in the making of modern nations.  My first book, The Politics of Motherhood: Maternity and Women’s Rights in Twentieth-Century Chile (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009), presents a study of citizenship rights in Chile through the lens of gender analysis.

I have also written about forced sterilization campaigns and human rights violations in Peru and North Carolina to contribute to our understanding of how different groups of women have suffered the consequences of aggressive sterilization campaigns. My ongoing research projects are all inspired by my interest in people’s mobilization for rights, their definition of rights, and the resources they create to fight for rights.  I continue to work on transnational women's activism, and the forging of global feminisms in the post WWII era. But I also research individual’s strategies to defend specific rights, such as the right to health and health care.

Currently, I am writing the biography of the Chilean physician Benjamin Viel – and use his life as a way to discuss the complex relationships of power that contributed not only to the making of public health systems in Chile and the Americas, but also to the experiences of people - of citizens who may have access to health and health care, or who may not. I situate the story of health and rights within larger debates about citizenship rights. Remember: In 1946, the World Health Organization (WHO) defined health to be “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”[1] Public health refers to “all organized measures (whether public or private) to prevent disease, promote health, and prolong life among the population as a whole. Its activities aim to provide conditions in which people can be healthy and focus on entire populations, not on individual patients or diseases.”[2]  The WHO’s definition of health has been praised for its holistic vision; simultaneously it was condemned for being unrealistic, or, in the words of historian Robert Hughes, for being “more realistic for a bovine than a human state of existence.”[3]  I wondered why – and prepared to give some answers to questions about inequality in my book on Dr. Viel’s life. 

I have begun to work on a second book titled “Roads they Traveled: The Politics of Chilean Exile in Cold War Germany.” It represents a "street-level" history of the Cold War, and starts with a detailed analysis of Chilean exile in East and West Berlin. For many, the significance of the Berlin Wall was both symbolic and real. Yet, the history of the Chilean Diaspora reveals a movement of people and political projects across the (ideological) walls of the Cold War; it helps us to break down the image of the Wall - and the Iron Curtain - as rock-solid, cold, unyielding frontiers.  In short: I explore not only the movement of people, but also the exchange of ideas about political projects, collective protests against authoritarian leadership, and strategies of revolution.

In the past decade I have taught a wide variety of courses on Latin American History, as well as courses on Global and Comparative History. Those included different approaches to teaching Modern Latin America - with a focus on such themes as ‘peace and violence,’ ‘resistance, rebellion, and revolution,’ the environment, and ‘women who break the rules.’  In addition, I have taught courses on US-LA Relations, on the Cold War, on Chilean History and the Latin American Southern Cone – as well as Oral History Methodology, Histories of Gender and Sexuality in Europe and the Americas, Histories of Latin American Revolutions, and Gender and Sexuality in Latin American History. Most recently we have explored subjects of health, medicine, science and power in my new course about “The Politics of Public Health and Medicine in the Americas.”  I am looking forward to offering a new version of the course on histories and politics of health in the Spring Semester 2014 – and am just as excited about teaching another recent addition to the curriculum, a course with a global/comparative perspective on the global sixties.

Recent Syllabi:


Recent Publications:

"The Long Road to Reproductive Rights in Chile," Nacla, 09/19/2017      https://nacla.org/news/2017/09/19/long-road-reproductive-rights-chile.

“‘Overpopulation’ and the Politics of Family Planning in Chile and Peru: Negotiating National Interests and Global Paradigms in a Cold War World,” in Corinna Unger and Heinrich Hartmann, eds., "A World of Populations: 20th Century Demographic Discourses and Practices in Global Perspective (New York: Berghahn Books, September 2014), 83-107.

"El antifascismo como fuerza movilizadora: Fanny Edelman y la Federación Democrática Internacional de Mujeres (FDIM),” Dossier: Antifascismo y género. Perspectivas biográficas y colectivas,  Anuario del Instituto de Estudios histórico sociales (IEHS), Buenos Aires, Argentina 28 (2013): 207-226.

Chilean Exile in the German Democratic Republic (GDR): The Politics of Solidarity in the Cold War,” in Kim Christiaens, Idesbald Goddeeris, and Magaly Rodriguez Garcia, eds., European Solidarity with Chile. 1970s-1980s (Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt/M., New York, Oxford, Warsaw, Wien: Peter Lang, 2013), 275-299.

Fighting Fascism and Forging New Political Activism: The Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF) in the Cold War,” in Pieper Mooney, Jadwiga and Fabio Lanza, eds., De-Centering Cold War History: Local and Global Change. (London: Routledge, 2012), 52-72.

Women’s Rights as Human Rights: Exile, International Feminist Encounters, and Women’s Empowerment under Military Rule in Chile, 1973-1990,” in Niels Bjerre-Poulsen et al., eds., Projections of Power in the Americas. (London: Routledge, 2012), 154-179.

Re-visiting Histories of Modernization, Progress, and (Unequal) Citizenship Rights: Coerced Sterilization in Peru and in the United States,” History Compass 8/9 (2010):1036-54.

Forging Feminisms under Dictatorship: Women’s International Ties and National Feminist Empowerment in Chile,” Women's History Review, Special Issue on International Feminisms, 19/4 (September 2010):613-30.

“Salvar vidas y gestar la modernidad: médicos, mujeres, y Programas de Planificación Familiar en Chile,” in María Soledad Zárate Campos (ed.), Por la salud del cuerpo. Historia y políticas sanitarias en Chile (Santiago, Universidad Alberto Hurtado, 2008):189-228.

Militant Motherhood Re-Visited: Women’s Participation and Political Power in Argentina and Chile,” History Compass 5/3 (2007): 975-994.


"Entrevista a la historiadora Dra. Jadwiga Pieper Mooney. Encuentros con biografía e historia: el Dr. Benjamín Viel y las políticas de la salud pública," F. Berlagoscky, Revista Chilena de Salud Pública [En línea], Volumen 17 Número 1 (4 abril 2013): http://www.revistasaludpublica.uchile.cl/index.php/RCSP/article/viewFile/26647/28222

[1] Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19-22 June, 1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by the representatives of 61 States (Official Records of the World Health Organization, no. 2, p. 100) and entered into force on 7 April 1948.

[3] Jackie Leach Scully, “What is a disease?” EMBO Rep. 2004 July; 5(7): 650–653. doi: 10.1038/sj.embor.7400195; PMCID: PMC1299105



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Contact Information

Jadwiga Pieper-Mooney
Telephone: 621-1586
Office: GWS 110
Office Hours: T/Th 3:30-4:30, 6:30-7:30, and by appt. (Fall 2018)
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Department of History
Cesar E. Chavez Bldg.
Main Office, Room 415 
1110 James E. Rogers Way
Tucson, AZ 85721

Email: history@email.arizona.edu
Tel: (520) 621-1586
Fax: (520) 621-2422