Research Conclusions

Our research team has undergone a lot of changes over the course of the semester and into this summer. Although the content and our research themes have remained the same, we’ve both welcomed and said goodbye to research members. We started as a group of William & Mary students working with Mr. Osorio and Professor Tandeciarz. One of the valuable things that each group member brought was the variety in classroom backgrounds that we had. We had a team member who was also very involved in the Russian studies department, who knew more about the Cold war. We also had a team member who had spent a semester studying abroad in Argentina previously, and was able to bring her experience in working with human right archives in La Plata. At the end of the semester, many of these students graduated. Two of us stayed on the team to continue the internship into the summer. We were also joined by a student from Swarthmore, who was able to bring fresh eyes to the documents we had been reading and synthesize all the information we had gathered into a more central database.

The different members of the team have all enriched the project in different ways. All of us have different writing and organizational styles, which through the magic of Google Drive have been able to come together. What is really neat about this research team is that it doesn’t feel like we are really saying goodbye to anyone. Everyone who has been brought onto the project has been hooked and has said that they would like to come back in the future. Maybe it’s because all of us are endeared by the mixture of Spanish and English that we get from our research advisors during our weekly Skype calls. But more likely, it’s because this work is both fascinating and important. The past history of the last fifty years doesn’t really feel like the “past.” It is still very much with us and carries important repercussions for justice in modern day politics. This project is one that none of us want to see end.

So the most exciting thing about wrapping up this internship is that we aren’t really wrapping it up. Rather, we are taking a break so that we can come back and continue the work fresh from new experiences. I know that I have learned a lot more than I expected from this research project. Not only did I learn a lot about Argentine history, but I also learned a lot about the United States Foreign Service. I learned about the many treasures of Google Sheets and about tensions present in Latin America during the Cold War. I learned about how to skim documents for words like “extralegal detention” that could be used in trials as evidence, and I learned about censorship of different newspapers. This work truly has been one of my most formative experiences that I’ve had thus far at William & Mary. I’m lucky to have had the opportunity to be a part of this team, and I can’t wait for the research to continue!