I am a UCLA PhD candidate in the department of sociology. I expect to complete my dissertation in June 2018.
My dissertation, "Digging for the Disappeared: Forensics, DNA, and Rewriting Spain's Violent History," is a global and multi-sited ethnography of the transnational forensics-based human rights social movement. Broadly it asks, how are human rights activists using forensics and DNA testing to reframe histories of violence? How are they using transnational advocacy networks and expertise to further their goals of restoring identity, memory, and justice within a globalized context? To answer these questions, I completed a historical analysis of secondary historical literature of the movement—beginning in post-conflict Argentina—and an ethnographic case study of the Spanish Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory (ARMH). I also conducted two months of interviews and observations in Argentina in 2015 and 14 months of participant observation with the ARMH in 2015-2017. In all, I conducted 230 interviews with activist and non-activist Spaniards.
This dissertation research is part of my broader research agenda in sociology, which focuses on social movements, politics, collective memory, human rights, culture, the role of gender, and the politics of reproduction.