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Prof. Sanford Presenting Research on Guatemala at University of London

October 27, 2010


Professor Victoria Sanford

Professor Victoria Sanford (Anthropology) will present her research on impunity in Guatemala at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, this Friday (10/29). The presentation is part of the Fratricide and Fraternité Seminar Series sponsored by the University's School of Advanced Study and supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Joining Dr. Sanford in making presentations will be international scholars from Europe, Africa, Asia, and the U.S.

This meeting is the last in the seminar series, which explores the causes and consequences of neighborly atrocities across history, cultures, and continents—from republican Rome to Kenya's Rift Valley. It seeks to answer two questions: (1) what turns neighbor against neighbor? and (2) how do neighbors live together again after atrocity?

The seminars bring together all ten Institutes in the School of Advanced Study, as well as a range of distinguished British and international scholars, to investigate neighborly atrocities from an extensive range of thematic, disciplinary, methodological, geographic, and temporal perspectives.

In her research, Professor Sanford applies anthropological and archaeological methods to obtain evidence about past human rights violations. She has conducted extensive research in Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, and South Africa and won several fellowships, awards, and honors, including the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (2009), the Early Career Award of the Society for the Psychological Study of Peace, Conflict, and Violence of the American Psychological Association, and a Fulbright Research/Teaching Award from the Fulbright Association of Colombia.

She and Professor Heather Walsh-Haney, a forensic anthropologist at Florida Gulf University, recently won the 2010 Margaret Popkin Award for their paper on human rights abuses in Guatemala. The award is named for the late human rights lawyer and executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Due Process of Law Foundation.

Professor Sanford's books include La masacre de Panzós: etnicidad, tierra y violencia en Guatemala (2010), about the massacre of Maya peasants by Guatemalan army soldiers; Buried Secrets: Truth and Human Rights in Guatemala (2003); Engaged Observer: Anthropology, Advocacy, and Activism (2006); and La Masacre de Panzos: Etnicidad, tierra y violencia en Guatemala (2006).