Dr Laura Rodriguez Castro

STAFF PROFILE

Position

Visitor

Faculty

Faculty of Arts and Education

Department

Alfred Deakin Institute

Campus

Melbourne Burwood Campus

Biography summary

I am a feminist geographer interested on the intersections of decoloniality, anti-racism, memory and rurality. My work also contributes to methodological debates on arts, visual and participatory methods.

Knowledge areas

  • Gender studies and feminisms
  • Memory and critical heritage studies (peace and conflict, and difficult memories and heritage)
  • Critical rural studies
  • Decoloniality and Southern knowledge
  • Anti-racism
  • Participatory arts methods (visual methods)

Professional activities

• Membership Secretary, Association of Iberian and Latin American Studies of Australasia.
• Member: Institute of Postcolonial Studies
• Member: International Visual Sociology Association
• Member: The Australian Sociological Association
• Member: Critical Heritage Studies Network

Projects

I am currently leading one research project:


• 'Fostering South–South dialogues on difficult heritage between Australia and Latin America' 


This project aims to map and foster translocal relationships of local and diasporic knowledges between Australia and Latin America. Specifically, the project will facilitate dialogues about difficult heritage and memory-making in Southern places and epistemes using participatory arts methods. It is situated in the interdisciplinary fields of Southern theories of decoloniality and critical heritage studies with a focus on post-conflict and post-war memory-making of the Latin American diaspora in Australia and the politics of difficult memories in Latin America.

Other externally funded research projects I am working on include:


• 2019 - 2020 Academy of the Humanities Travelling Fellowship: 'Advancing Peace and Conflict Studies from The Ground: Women’s Oral Testimonies and Historical Memory in Colombia'.


This project is situated in the interdisciplinary fields of historical memory, oral history, and peace and conflict studies. It explores and contributes to the formation of social memory in the aftermath of the Colombian peace accord signature in late 2016 with the largest insurgent group in the country, the FARC-EP. Given the historical and international importance of the Colombian peace process, as it continues to advance, women social leaders are agents in the construction of historical memory. Indeed women have been the main survivors of this war, but their voices and actions continue to be underrepresented and silenced in national and international accounts of the conflict and peace process. Thus, the voices of women activists and social leaders are central to the construction of historical memory. The project aims are to (1) amplify the voices and actions of women activists and social leaders, and highlight these in the historical and international constructions of the Colombian peace process (2) understand the construction of historical memory in Colombia. The project counters women’s underrepresentation, while contributing to understand and construct transnational actions that are building inclusive historical memory from the ground and foster South-South dialogues between Latin America and Australia. 

A publication with some of the findings of this project is published in the International Journal of Heritage Studies here.


'Geography and Collective Memories Through Art Workshop' (supported by the 2020 Geographical Society of New South Wales Symposium Funding). More information on this project can be found here.

Through centring Latin American Southern knowledges of decoloniality, I have also contributed to epistemic debates on doing participatory arts research. Emerging as a critical creative contribution is the four published volumes of the ‘zine’ publication Affect, Knowledge and Embodiment (AKE): A Critical Feminist Arts/Research Zine, an output of a workshop series I convene at universities across Australia with Dr Ash Watson and Samantha Trayhurn.