Viviana MacManus awarded major national fellowship for social justice research

Published: Apr 11, 2016

Viviana MacManus
(Image: Viviana MacManus. Photo by Marlayna Demond '11 for UMBC.)

Viviana MacManus, an assistant professor of gender and women’s studies, has been awarded a Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. The competitive award is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and is designed to provide support to junior faculty to pursue scholarly research and writing essential to attaining tenure.

The prestigious Career Enhancement Fellowship aims to increase the presence of minority junior faculty and faculty who are committed to eradicating racial disparities, breaking down stereotypes, and promoting cross-cultural understanding in the arts and sciences.

MacManus will use the sixth-month fellowship to work on her book manuscript We Are Protagonists of This History: Gender, Political Violence, and Testimonies of Resistance in Latin America’s Dirty Wars. The book is largely based on research she conducted in Argentina through a Summer Faculty Fellowship (SFF), and it centers on Latin America’s history of gender and state violence during the “Dirty Wars” of Argentina and Mexico from the 1960s-80s. MacManus conducted extensive interviews and is compiling them into oral histories to examine the gender politics involved in guerrilla movements and unarmed political organizations in Mexico and Argentina.

“I am thrilled to be a recipient of this fellowship, and I plan to make significant progress on my manuscript during this time,” shares MacManus. “I am pleased that there is investment in supporting academic work on social justice scholarship and feminist theory, as my research focuses on critical human rights and gender violence in Latin America.”

Prof. MacManus also says that the UMBC community has been incredibly supportive throughout her research process: “Furthermore, this experience also demonstrated to me the support network and sense of camaraderie that is truly representative of the UMBC community; Dr. Rachel Brubaker, Dr. Carole McCann and Dr. Michelle Scott (a former recipient of this fellowship), all assisted me during the application process. I look forward to also assisting other junior faculty in the future, especially those of underrepresented backgrounds, as these support systems are crucial in helping junior faculty thrive and succeed in their careers at UMBC.”

Dr. MacManus was a member of the inaugural cohort of UMBC’s Postdoctoral Fellows for Faculty Diversity program and has since served as mentor to other program participants. Her research interests include Latin American cultural and literary studies, transnational feminism, critical human rights, oral history, and visual culture. She is deeply committed to dismantling structures of inequality, including working with the National Immigration Law Center, D.C.’s Black Lives Matter chapter, and the School of the Americas Watch, among other organizations, to foster connections between academic scholarship and civic engagement.

Read more about MacManus’s work and research on the gender and women’s studies department website.

Image: Viviana MacManus. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

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