Lehman Today Online Magazine Lehman Today Spring 2016 - Page 22

Professor Victoria Sanford is having a notable year—which is particularly remarkable considering her career has long been distinguished by its impressive accomplishments. The chair of the Lehman College Anthropology Department and director of the Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies, she was recently awarded her third J. William Fulbright Scholarship and will also publish two new books. Victoria Sanford, Sofia Álvarez-Arenas y Kathleen Dill Guatemala: Violencia sexual y Genocidio For the next two summers, Sanford will be traveling to Colombia on the U.S. Fulbright Scholar award to develop a curriculum on transitional justice at the Universidad Libre in Bogota. “It’s exciting as an anthropologist to be working with legal faculty, prosecutors, and attorneys,” she said. Transitional justice employs judicial and non-judicial means as a way to redress massive human rights abuses. It has been a way to obtain justice in countries that are transitioning from long-term conflict and state repression. “In developing a transitional justice curriculum for Universidad Libre, she hopes to create a program that allows participants to make a difference in the future of a democratic Colombia. “I’ve watched my colleagues in Guatemala do just that and it’s profound,” said Sanford. Sanford is a human rights activist and transitional justice advocate in Guatemala. In May her book Guatemala: Violencia Sexual y Genocidio was published by F&G Editores in Guatemala. It is a Spanish language account of the massacre of the Ixil Maya village of Acul and the latest of her books to examine transitional justice, human rights, and genocide in the Central American republic. Her other books on the topic include Buried Secrets: Truth and Human Rights in Guatemala (2003) and Guatemala: Del Genocidio al Feminicidio (2008, in Spain). Photo by Julien Charlon Prof. Victoria Sanford Continues Her Work on Latin American Justice 20 Lehman Today In addition, Sanford is the first of three editors of Gender Violence in Peace and War: States of Complicity (to be published in September 2016 by Rutgers University Press). It is a collection of powerful essays about gender violence in nations such as Greece and Iraq. The book’s co-editors are Lehman Adjunct Anthropology Professor Katerina Stefatos and Cecilia Salvi, a doctoral student in anthropology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Some of the book’s chapters were presented by her colleagues at the Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies’ annual conference in 2014. At Universidad Libre in Bogota, Sanford will be working with university law students, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college. The Colombian government is expected, as of this writing, to imminently sign a peace accord with FARC (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) who has been waging guerilla war against the Colombian government for more than half a century. Sanford said she will be arriving in Colombia at “a significant historical moment for the country.” In developing a transitional justice curriculum for Universidad Libre, she hopes to create a program that allows participants to make a difference in the future of a democratic Colombia. “I’ve watched my colleagues in Guatemala do just that and it’s profound,” she said. “They have been able to make changes and bring human rights violators to justice. The students in Colombia can make a difference in the construction of justice and democracy in their country.” The Anthropology chair was awarded her third Fulbright and will publish two books this year, both about transitional justice. Lehman Today 21