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Jennifer Schaefer

Jennifer L. Schaefer is an Emerging Democracies Postdoctoral Fellow for the 2016-17 academic year. Her current research focuses on cultural articulations of political change in modern Argentina. Her in-progress book manuscript, “Critical Commemorations: Memorializing Rebels, Martyrs, and Heroes in Argentina, 1966-1983,” analyzes how commemorative practices during and after periods of military repression invoked values of rebellion, martyrdom, and heroism. These commemorative acts often identified individuals who had been injured, killed, or threatened in confrontations with the military or police. The book manuscript argues that the identities of rebel, martyr, and hero intertwined and iterated values that sustained political communities under authoritarian pressure. Combining close readings of official documents, newspapers, student and union newsletters, flyers from political groups, images, interviews, and audiovisual recordings with theoretical perspectives on power and violence, the project joins scholarly conversations that interrogate how disciplinary technologies shaped the construction of life and the potentialities of community.

During her affiliation with the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies, Schaefer will work on a project that examines how modernization campaigns around the 1978 World Cup shifted the social and economic geographies of Buenos Aires and redefined expectations towards public space. This study, “The Reorganized City: Urbanization, Modernization, and the 1978 World Cup in Argentina,” considers how ideas of the future and generational inheritance drove urban planning, construction, and use. Drawing on archival documents, audiovisual recordings, and oral histories, this project analyzes the construction of new highways required to transport fans to the matches, the installation of television facilities necessary to transmit matches live and in Argentina’s first color broadcast, and the renovation of existing stadiums to meet international standards. Engaging with recent scholarship that examines processes of inclusion and exclusion during international events, the project will contribute to broader discussions around claims to the ownership of public space.

Prior to beginning the fellowship at the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies, Schaefer served as visiting assistant professor of history at Emory University and interim director of the Emory Writing Center. She received her Ph.D. in history from Emory University in 2015.


  • Ph.D., History, Emory University, 2015
  • M.A., Latin American Studies, University of Chicago, 2008
  • B.A., History and Comparative Literature, Brown University, 2007

Awards and Honors

  • Education and Outreach Fellowship, Emory Writing Center and Robert F. Woodruff Library, Emory University (2014-15)
  • George W. Woodruff Fellowship, James T. Laney School of Graduate Studies, Emory University (2009-14)
  • Mathews Fellowship for Dissertation Research, Department of History, Emory University (2012)
  • James R. Scobie Award, Conference on Latin American History (2010)
  • Tinker Field Research Grant, Center for Latin American Studies, University of Chicago (2008)


Following her WCED Fellowship year, Professor Schaefer accepted a teaching postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of History at Washington State University - Vancouver.