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Claire Whitlinger is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Michigan. Her research interest centers on the causes and consequences of memory projects such as commemorations, memorials, and truth commissions. In her dissertation she takes a comparative historical approach to investigate how, and with what effect, Philadelphia, Mississippi—the town infamous as the site of the 1964 “Mississippi Burning” murders—has come to confront its difficult history over the course of fifty years. This research sheds light on the mechanisms through which commemorations of difficult pasts facilitate broader social change. In addition to her dissertation research, Claire is developing a study of the global proliferation of truth commissions and has worked with Professors Matthias Koenig and Kiyoteru Tsutsui on a project tracing the trajectory of nationhood and minority rights (1789-2010). Claire holds a B.A. in Sociology from The George Washington University (Washington, D.C.) and M.A. in Sociology from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI).
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