Fellow: Awarded 2009
Field of Study: Iberian and Latin American History
Competition: US & Canada
Victoria Sanford received her Ph.D. in anthropology from Stanford University (2000) where she also received training in International Human Rights Law and Immigration Law at Stanford Law School. Additionally, she received a certificate in Human Rights Law from the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights in Costa Rica. She has worked with Central American refugees since 1986 when she founded and directed a nonprofit refugee legal services project representing Central American asylum-seekers. As a human rights activist and scholar, she has conducted extensive field research with Maya communities in Guatemala, Afro-Colombian and indigenous peace communities in Colombia, and Colombian refugee communities in Ecuador.
She is the author of Buried Secrets: Truth and Human Rights in Guatemala (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), Violencia y Genocidio en Guatemala (FyG Editores, 2003), Guatemala: Del Genocidio al Feminicidio (FyG Editores, 2008), and co-author of the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation's report to the Commission for Historical Clarification (the Guatemalan truth commission). She has just completed La Masacre de Panzós: Etnicidad, tierra y violencia en Guatemala (FyG Editores, in press). She co-edited (with Asale Angel-Ajani) Engaged Observer: Anthropology, Advocacy and Activism (Rutgers UP, 2006). With support from the Guggenheim Fellowship, she is writing
Ms. Sanford is the recipient of a Bunting Peace Fellowship at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, a United States Institute for Peace grant, a Fulbright Teaching/Research Award, a Rockefeller Fellowship for research on violence, a MacArthur Consortium Fellowship, and the Early Career Award of the Peace Society of the American Psychological Association, among others. She has served as a consultant and provided invited expert briefings on human rights to private foundations as well as to governmental, nongovernmental and United Nations entities. She has published and presented her work in England, Spain, Denmark, Norway, South Africa, Ecuador, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Austria, Slovenia, and the United States.
An associate professor of anthropology at Lehman College, she is also a member of the doctoral faculty at City University of New York. She was elected to the American Anthropological Association’s Committee for Human Rights, which she also chairs. She serves as a Research Associate at Columbia University’s Center for International Conflict Resolution and is an Affiliated Scholar at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights, Rutgers University. Previously, she was Senior Research Fellow at the Institute on Violence and Survival, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. She has also taught in the Department of Rural and Regional Development at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia.