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Mar 5, 2018
Escrito por: Corporate Communications Group

The educational teaching qualification is one of the fundamental tasks for improving the quality of education in universities as well as to strengthen the research processes. The UPN support their teachers in advanced training programs as in case of four professors of the Social Sciences Dept., who were given mentions for their research work. 


Teachers Sandra Patricia Rodríguez Ávila, Nidya Constanza Mendoza Romero, John Harold Córdoba Aldana, and Maximiliano Prada Dussán, got their PhD in different areas of Human Sciences and, besides, were recognized in national and international Institutions where they advanced their doctoral studies in matter of their academic achievements and quality of their research results. 


Below we highlight the research task carried out in all of their research processes: 



Sandra Patricia Rodríguez Ávila 

PhD in History, Universidad Nacional de Colombia 

Doctoral Thesis: “Usos públicos del pasado desde la Academia Colombiana de Historia (1930-1960)”. [Memory and Oblivion. Past Public Uses by Colombian Academy of History (1930-1960)] 




The subject matter for dissertation by Professor Patricia Rodríguez is “Past public uses by the Colombian Academy of History (Academia Colombiana de Historia) (ACH) during the period 1930-1960.” This thesis deals with that body in relation to other memory communicators that helped to strength the official memory of our country: the Ministry of Education since 1930's and the Dept. of Information and Publicity of the State –DIPE– since 1952. 


Throughout the research process, professor Rodriguez studied the ACH as a body composed by a political elite, which, through its three main action areas (commemorations, history teaching, and preservation and dissemination of historical heritage), influenced the social set up of the country and our national memory. 



This doctoral work was based on the critics made by the New History scholars’ in which ACH represented an anecdotal, fictional and apologetic telling of the history itself. Professor Rodríguez went from a historiographical to a cultural history analysis, which showed up the social implications of this history to be shaped within the official memory of our country.


Based on an extensive literature review, Rodríguez noted the influence of ACH into the country social settings in four issues; firstly, the strong incidence by Catholic Church, which is evident in the prevalence of religious symbols over patriotic symbols; secondly, the Colombian Army institutionalization as a inheritor of the Bolivarian Army to justify contemporary struggles, such as the anti-communism during the 50's; thirdly, the naturalization of social hierarchies in public celebrations given to popular strata and the historical content of textbooks; and finally, the fourth approach aspect is, the creation of a people national identity from sports and cultural events promoted by the ACH, business sectors and the Ministry of National Education.








From a cultural history perspective, Rodríguez noted public uses of the past in the construction of the national imaginary and everyday actions of different social sectors, based on public policies of the memory shape in education and its relevance to build up an official memory. 




The research covered ACH documents of the period matter of this study, Ministry reports, DIPE publications, press reports on commemorative events, and reviewing programs of the National Radio. Professor also read textbooks of that period and texts about creation and historic preservation at national level. 




The scope of files reviewed shows the changes that happened in the ACH institutional dynamics, and changes in the political context of Colombia compared with similar institutions in Argentina and Spain. 





This research process was directed by Professor Gisela Cramer, graduated from Universidad Nacional de Colombia, specialist in Latin American History and Comparative History. The judges were Professor Mauricio Archila, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Professor William Beezley, University of Arizona, and Professor Leon Atehortúa Adolfo Cruz, Universidad Pedagógica Nacional. The thesis was distinguished with laureate mention. 



Nydia Mendoza Constanza Romero 

PhD in Latin American Studies at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

Doctoral Thesis: “Políticas de la memoria y transmisión generacional de pasados recientes en HIJOS Argentina e Hijos e hijas por la memoria y contra la impunidad en Colombia”. [Policies of memory and generational diffusion of recent past in HIJOS Argentina and Sons and Daughters for Memory and Against Impunity in Colombia.] 




The thesis by Professor Nydia Constanza Mendoza Romero analyzes processes by which memories of recent past conflicts are transmitted generationally on two groups of children of individuals who were detained, disappeared or persecuted for political reasons between 1970 1980: “Hijos e Hijas por la Identidad y la Justicia contra el Olvido y el Silencio (HIJOS)”, in Artgentina, and “Hijos por la memoria contra la impunidad”, in Colombia. 




The research by professor Mendoza based itself on a methodological design that combined qualitative research and comparative analysis and took into account three levels of reflection: the personal memories of the members of these groups, the policies of the memory displayed as a group and the changes in public memories in Argentina and Colombia in recent years. Thus it was established that, when entering these clusters, the sons and daughters of people who were detained, disappeared or persecuted reworked and problematized the stories of victimization, silence and denial they grew up with, a process that generated political learning as well as continuities, reworking and ruptures of political projects of the previous generation. 






The Thesis of Professor Constance Nydia Mendoza was rated Approved with honors; it was selected as the best graduate dissertation in Latin American Studies in the context of the summons Colección Postgrado 2012-2013 and voted as one of the five best thesis of the year 2011-2013, according that is in way to be published. 



John Harold Córdoba Aldana 

PhD in Geography from the Universidad de Rennes 2, France 


Doctoral thesis entitled “International and dynamic residential mobility in Bogota (Colombia).” 




The doctoral research of Professor John Harold Córdoba Aldana is inscribed within the METAL project (Metropolis de América Latina en la Mundialización), developed with academics in France and in the cities of Santiago de Chile and São Paulo in Brazil. The professor’s research work was done in the research laboratory ESO (Espacios y Sociedades/Places and Societies); University of Rennes 2 and, at the same time, the professor had contact with Migrinter Laboratory at the Universidad de Poitiers, France, which has been working on the subject of migration since 30 years. 


His research focused on international mobility and urban change in Bogotá; the work shows how residential choice, the price of housing, real estate investment and practices, and urban representations in the capital have been influenced by international migration. 




The term “international mobility” used by the professor goes beyond the mechanical conception of migration, as population flows have increased due to the circumstances brought by neoliberal economic globalization, which causes people to not move from place to place continuously. These circumstances make possible other types of mobility abroad, such as temporary residence in different regions of a country or between neighboring countries. 


At the same time, the idea of ??mobility provides research tools to understand the social, economic, political and cultural changes around the places of arrival and accord to the places of origin; in this case, Professor Córdoba studied these aspects about Bogota´s reality on three different groups of people: those who live outside the country, those born outside of Colombia who came to establish their residence in Bogota, and the former inhabitants of the country, who after living abroad returned to the Colombian capital. 


International mobility allows addressing urban transformations studied by Professor Cordoba based on residential trends; with this purpose, a research system based on four strategies was designed. 



The first strategy was the analysis of 891 household surveys conducted by the METAL project in 2009 in the metropolitan area of Bogotá, which let us to discuss thoughtfully about international mobility with 66 chosen individuals in Bogota (36), Barcelona (23) and Paris (7); some of these people are foreigners who live or lived in Bogotá. The second strategy was a review of the population censuses of 1993 and 2005 to observe the growth of foreign population in the city. The third strategy was the review of investment policies on the property market in Bogota, understanding // taking into account the logic of prices in the housing market due to foreign investment and migration. Finally, the laws of migration in Colombia, Venezuela, United States of America, France and Spain can be analyzed and how these have changed the flow of people to foreign countries. 







Under the METAL project and with the participation of Professor Córdoba, later this year the dissemination of the research will be conducted and the results obtained by different researchers on urban changes that have been generated by international migration will be made public, which may contribute to the construction of public policies. 


Professor John Harold Córdoba was awarded with the distinction Very Honorably. 



Maximiliano Prada Dussán 

Doctor of Philosophy graduated from Universidad Complutense de Madrid, in research in History of Philosophy. 

Doctoral Thesis “Philosophy of Music in San Agustin: approach from the conceptual schema of the numbers and the conceptual schema of signs.” 





The theories on the philosophy of music in the Middle Age are the main focus in the investigation conducted by Professor Maximiliano Prada, who specifically addressed the case of Augustine of Hippo as a philosophical benchmark in this period, and as a cornerstone for the transition between the Old Age and early Middle Age. 


Professor Prada, who has over 10 years studying philosophy of Middle Age, developed his doctoral dissertation based on the music philosophy of African thinker St. Augustine. His research suggests that, from the theory of the sign present in the Stoics (a theory that Augustine retakes), can the choral songs of the late fourth century and the beginning of the V century be studied, particularly those belonging to the Judeo-Christian tradition. Referring to the novelty of the research approach, Professor Prada said that “the choral music of this period has been traced from the history of the Church and the Catholic Liturgy or from the history of music, but it has not been a field of study in the history of philosophy”, so, “in the doctoral work this possibility is open and explore this to do it forward.”


The research process of Professor Maximiliano focused on the approach to the philosophical texts of St. Augustine to reconstruct the problems of the philosophy of the time and create new interpretative ways of facing them. The conceptual reconstruction of texts, methodology used by the teacher in his research, that suppose is to review the literature of the author from its context, as well about of the discussions with other performers of that time and/ a review of the epistemological status of the historical period of St. Augustine. //which belonged to the same epistemological status of the historical period of St. Augustine. 


One of the main contributions of this work is the approach to this subject from perspectives of current studies, since it is based on the trend according to which the philosophy of the Middle Age can be over read, regardless of religious or atheist prejudices/prejudges, as opposed to previous studies in which this period is analyzed from Christianity or from a perspective that denies the medieval philosophy since it is considered subservient to theology. 


Regarding the experience of doing a PhD abroad, the professor notes that this opportunity open the possibility of talking with the world community and to share academic and research progresses with other communities; internationalization requires the University to speak to the world in its languages, to be up to date on issues of academic discussion, and the university community to participate in global networks of different disciplines. 



The dissertation by Professor Maximiliano Prada won by unanimity of the judges and from the Court of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, the mention of Excellent cum laude. 

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