2019-2020 Luce Scholar

Lara Norgaard builds collective memory of state violence through journalism, education, and the arts. A graduate of Princeton University (comparative literature and Latin American studies), Lara focused her academic research on how Brazilian and Argentinian literature represents each country’s most recent military dictatorship. In practice, she uses digital communication strategies and innovative pedagogy to circulate histories of oppression. She joined a team of five Brazilian reporters from investigative journalism group Agência Pública in summer 2016 to report on forced displacements caused by Olympic infrastructure projects in Rio de Janeiro. The resulting “100 Project” – an interactive interface of one hundred interviews with displaced families – received the Vladimir Herzog Prize for human rights journalism. Building on her previous experiences in education as an English as a second language instructor and head fellow of the Princeton University Writing Center, Lara taught English language and literature at the State University of Londrina in Paraná, Brazil, as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in 2018. She incorporated pedagogy for discussing socially disputed histories in her lessons and, outside of the classroom, established Brazil’s second official writing center. Concurrently, Lara received the post-graduate Labouisse Fellowship, which has allowed her to create Artememoria, a bilingual arts magazine focused on the memory of Brazil’s dictatorial regime and continuities in state violence. Featuring content such as digital maps, interactive artwork, interviews, and archival research, the magazine’s first two issues include original contributions from prominent Brazilian artists and intellectuals. Lara presented the project at the Fifth International Federation for Public History Annual Conference in São Paulo and at a series of local events in Rio de Janeiro and Londrina. Now based in São Paulo, she simultaneously works toward the third issue of Artememoria and serves as an Editor-at-Large in Brazil for Asymptote Journal, an international magazine of literature in translation. By working virtually with a team of over 100 staff members from around the world, she has broadened her horizons geographically, developing an interest in Asian literature and public history initiatives.