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Meet the 2017 SALALM Conference Scholarship Winners: Itza Carbajal

Itza Carbajal

Itza Alejandra Carbajal is the daughter of Honduran parents, a native of New Orleans, and a child of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Her roots begin three generations ago when one of her great grandfathers landed in the port city of New Orleans from France. He then travel by sea to Honduras, a country in Central America. There her paternal grandmother would be born. She would become a school teacher, a mayor, and a mother of four. On the other side of the border in the early 20th century, her maternal grandfather escaped military repressions in El Salvador. He would eventually meet Itza’s maternal grandmother and give birth to eight children including her mother.

Itza by chance came to life in New Orleans and never claimed another place as home until 2005 when Hurricane Katrina struck. She left her city by force and has resided in Texas ever since. Now she lives in Austin, Texas currently pursuing a Master of Science in Information Studies with a focus on archival science and digital records at the University of Texas at Austin School of Information. She obtained a dual-degree Bachelor of Arts in History and English with a concentration on creative writing and legal studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio. During that time, she thought she wanted to be a lawyer then she thought she wanted to write children’s books, but soon realized that she still had to explore some more.

Today, she finds herself exploring mainly issues related to identity formation, memory and ways of remembering, the hows and whos of the production of history, and the implications of the digital on cultural memory. Her research includes the role of community archives in shaping collective memories, the use of archives as centers of power, archives and memory retrieval, and the use of digital archives as a response to the historic erasure of marginalized peoples.

As a result of these experiences, Itza Carbajal represents many things – a transnational daughter of immigrants, a displaced Hurricane Katrina survivor, a woman of color, a product of neoliberal policies in Latin America, and a child raised in a working class environment.

More at www.itzacarbajal.com

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