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War Crimes, Law, and Memory: Safeguarding Testimonies from the War in Ukraine

Description of research project:

First responders and journalists have collected countless stories of human rights violations from on-the-ground in Ukraine since Russia invaded in early 2022. However, history shows that only some of these testimonies will withstand the arduous cultural and legal processes that result in lasting global attention and real justice in international courts. This research project is part of a global initiative that has worked to collect and interpret testimonies from Ukraine in a way that prepares them to be used as legal evidence in the future. A team of researchers at the University of Michigan is working directly with this initiative to convert summaries of testimonies from Ukraine into actionable stories based on a set of legal guidelines, and we are seeking SURO research assistants to play a primary role in this work.


Description of work that will be assigned to research assistants:

Duties and responsibilities may include, but are not limited to: reading and analyzing English-language summaries of testimonies, applying a qualitative “coding guide” to the summaries that will identify various aspects of human rights violations, organizing and managing testimony data on a spreadsheet, and meeting weekly in-person with the supervising graduate student and other team members. In working on this project, the student research assistants will learn key techniques in qualitative sociological methods and enhance their ability to work in a collaborative, international context.


Supervising Faculty Member: Prof. Geneviève Zubrzycki

Contact information:

Average hours of work per week: 6

Credit hours students can earn: 2

Number of positions available: 2-3