Abstract: Motherhood, Memory, and the Future of Law

My name is Emily Jackson and I am an International Relations major and rising senior currently spending a semester abroad in La Plata, Argentina. During Argentina’s military dictatorship of 1976 to 1983, the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo gained international attention by using truth, memory and their motherhood to resist. Their fight contributed to the exposure and ousting of the juntas, and was instrumental in the development of innovative means of transitional justice when faced with blocks to criminal trials even after the dictatorship fell. My research seeks to examine what made Argentina’s motherist activist movement so successful while lawyers, academics and others were persecuted or ignored, and how civil society interacted with national politics during and after the dictatorship to invent new means of justice. How can the power of memory and motherist activism, and the legal innovations they inspired, influence conceptions of human rights, international criminal procedure, and forms of transitional justice in a modern global context? By analyzing discourse and law using primary sources in Argentina, I seek to not just explain the Argentine experience, but to propose a mechanism for innovative justice modeled after Argentina derived from the universally relatable experiences of memory and motherhood.

Storytellers of War: The Power of Narratives in Constructing Identity

I am many things: an avid doodler, a fairly average student, and an almost offensively green transcriber, as I’ve quickly learned from working on this project. But in the growing days of sitting -with surprising discipline- in front of a computer, trying to decipher the elusive sounds of Andalusian Spanish only to melt into a pool of confusion and consolation chocolate, it is my passion as a storyteller that grounds me in the reality of the work. The voices of victims and survivors who speak with almost casual conviction. The intimate nature of their testimonies like confessions liberated from decades of silence, some of which are inherited through parents and grandparents. These are stories that demand their pain to be recognized and, above all else, felt.

[Read more…]

(Re)discovering Rhythms

The script goes something like this:

“So, what are you up to this summer?”

[Read more…]