Katie Trostel earned her PhD in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She serves as Assistant Professor of English at Ursuline College where she has a special interest in Latin American women’s writing, composition, and the digital humanities.

Her research project is entitled, “Memoryscapes: Women Chart the Post-Trauma City in 20th- and 21st- Century Latin America.” It examines the treatment of urban space and memories of state-sponsored violence in the works of Latin American women writers of the post-trauma or post-dictatorship generation. She analyzes a largely unexplored archive of contemporary fiction that represents public spaces in the post-trauma city, and negotiates the relationship between collective and individual memory. Her work demonstrates the central role of women in debates over the public memorialization of state-sponsored violence in Argentina (Tununa Mercado), Chile (Nona Fernández), Mexico (Ana Clavel), and Peru (Karina Pacheco Medrano), and extends theories of memory and urban space by arguing that fictional cityscapes serve as primary sites through which difficult national memories are worked through.

She also serves as the coordinator of the Venice Ghetto Collaboration.


PhD in Literature; University of California, Santa Cruz

BA in Anthropology and English, Macalester College

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The Venice Ghetto Collaboration

THE VENICE GHETTO COL-LAB-ORATION…is an interdisciplinary and mutually supportive working group of humanities scholars interested in a set of shared questions. Individually and as a group, we develop projects that examine both the specificity of the Venice Ghetto and the symbolic power of ghettos more generally. Our scholarship investigates the history, conditions, physical space, and lived experience of the Venice Ghetto, as well as broader questions about the legacy of the ghetto, how and why the ghetto became a paradigm, and how comparisons have been drawn between compulsory, segregated, and enclosed spaces in discourse, literature, and academic research.

Underlying this work is a desire to re-orient our scholarship towards its spatial and historical origins. The Col-lab-oration was formed after the group visited the Venice Ghetto in the summer of 2016, and found that the experience of walking the physical space added to the empathy and explanatory power of our research and writing. To this end, we encourage and support the creation of digital projects that help recreate the space, views, and movement of the historical, literary, and contemporary “ghetto” spaces that we study.

Katharine G. Trostel

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