PhD Candidate Julia Calderón Visits the Center in July

Wed, 06/30/2021 - 4:00pm

In the month of July, Julia Calderón, PhD candidate in Hispanic Languages and Literatures at the University of California, Los Angeles, will work with the Center as a visiting scholar and summer professional intern. Julia Calderón earned a Summer Internship Professionalization grant from the Spanish and Portuguese Department at UCLA that enables her to work at an organization of her choosing over the summer. She approached the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research after serving as a Teaching Assistant in UCLA’s year-long interdisciplinary custer course entitled “Political Violence in the Modern World: Causes, Cases, and Consequences,” co-taught by professors Michael Rothberg (Comparative Literature and Holocaust Studies), Geoffrey Robinson (History), Jared McBride (History), and Ruken Sengul (Anthropology). Faculty integrated testimonies from the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive into the course. Drawing on her interest in the Guatemalan genocide, Calderón taught a lower division seminar "Sí Hubo Genocidio: Guatemalan Genocide and Its Aftermath" during the Spring 2021 quarter at UCLA. 

Julia Calderón’s dissertation project examines contemporary Central American detective fiction in the frame of neoliberal, post-war societies, with specific attention to representation of the memory of the past political violence, and of the diasporic and migratory experience. Given her interests in memory, political violence, and the Guatemalan genocide, plans for her work at the Center include research and refining of index terms for testimonies by survivors of the Guatemalan genocide. Crispin Brooks, curator of the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive, will work with Calderón during this project. Indexing is USC Shoah Foundation’s process of assigning subject terms to one-minute segments of every testimony in the Visual History Archive, matching what the interviewee is talking about at the given minute. The terms allow the entire archive to be searchable to the minute so users can easily find the testimonies (or segments of testimonies) they are looking for. In the Guatemalan genocide collection, many survivors discuss specific places, massacres, and common experiences that could be indexed. Yet before an index term is introduced, each term is rigorously researched and defined, drawing on scholarly literature. Calderón’s contributions to this important work will be invaluable. 

Julia Calderón earned a BA in Spanish and an MA in Advanced Hispanic Studies at the University of Seville. Pursuing her PhD at UCLA, she also earned a Graduate Concentration Certificate in Gender Studies. Her work has been published in several journals, including Clues: A Journal of Detection, Cuadernos de Aleph, Alea: Estudos Neolatinos, and in an edited volume entitled Erotismo, transgresión y exilio: las voces de Cristina Peri Rossi. Calderón has received numerous fellowships and awards for research and teaching. Supported by research travel awards, she has conducted a number of research projects related to Guatemala, including a field research project in Guatemala City entitled “The Numbers of Central American Crime Fiction: Audience Reception and Editorial Markets in the Isthmus” and another project entitled “The Construction of Memory Spaces in Postwar Guatemala and El Salvador.” She has extensive experience with teaching, having taught at Centro Sino Español (Changsha, China), Delta State University, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and University of California, Los Angeles.