Hispanic Studies Professors Silvia Tandeciarz and John “Rio” Riofrio were recently selected as part of the inaugural cohort of the Reveley Interdisciplinary Fellows. Funded by a $2.6 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Reveley Fellows are teams of faculty members housed in different departments and focused on integrative and interdisciplinary teaching and research. The teams selected receive annual stipends over a three-year period in order to generate and implement an interdisciplinary course.
Associate Professor Silvia Tandeciarz is teaming up with Assoc. Prof. Betsy Konefal to create a course and a research agenda focused on the recovery of collective memory, via cultural artifacts like art, literature and film, in the aftermath of Argentina’s last military dictatorship (1976-1983) and Guatemala’s internal armed conflict (1960-1996).
Associate Professor John “Rio” Riofrio will be working with Assoc. Prof. of Secondary Education Jeremy Stoddard. The team seeks to create a course, “Unequal by Design: Race and Education in the US,” that will address diversity issues and bring together faculty and students from Arts & Sciences and the School of Education. This will provide opportunities for students to think about how race is constructed and how, in turn, these constructs have tangible effects in American schools.
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Profs. Tandeciarz and Konefal have had a robust and fruitful academic collaboration for several years. Recently, their work with W&M students helped the prosecution in the trials of high-level military officers in Argentina for their participation in Operation Condor. They also co-authored an article,“Dictatorship Declassified: Latin America’s ‘Archives of Terror’ and the Labors of Memory” Peace Studies Journal 7.3 (Dec 2014): 75-97.
Prof. Riofrio recently published his first book, Continental Shifts: Migration, Representation, and the Struggle for Justice in Latin(o) America (U of Texas Press, 2015). He is also the latest recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award.