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Headshot of GCPR Student Lara Lookabaugh. Department of Geography, PhD Student

My name is Lara Lookabaugh. I am a 5th year PhD Candidate in the Geography Department. I am an interdisciplinary geographer whose research lies at the intersections of decolonial and Indigenous geographies, feminist political geography, emancipatory futures, and geographies of memory in Latin America and the southern United States. My dissertation is the result of a 5-year participatory research collaboration with a Mam Maya women’s collective in Guatemala that explores how the everyday political and artistic practices of Indigenous women create space to envision and enact alternative futures for their community and for Guatemala. Through an overarching feminist geographic lens, I weave together the knowledge that informs the work of the collective, theory produced by Indigenous scholars from throughout the Americas, temporal geographies, scholarship that interrogates the endurance of colonial legacies across space and time, and my lived experience as a librarian, artist, and organizer. Between 2018 and 2019, the collective and I curated an exhibit of photography, words, and textiles to tell their story, and we continue to collaborate through a community oral history project. My research has been funded by the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad, Carolina Digital Humanities Digital Dissertation Fellowship, UNC Institute for the Study of the Americas, Society of Women Geographers Pruitt Dissertation Fellowship, UNC Graduate Certificate in Participatory Research, and the Mellon-funded Humanities for the Public Good Initiative, among others. My first dissertation article, “Mujeres Tejedoras del Conocimiento: Mam Maya women curating past and present to weave the future in Guatemala” was published in Gender, Place & Culture: A journal of feminist geography.