Congratulations to Abby Judge

A hearty congratulations to the amazing Abby Judge, who has just successfully completed her Master’s degree in the Religious Studies program here at Cal State Long Beach.

Impressively, Abby began her MA program during the pandemic as one of the AY21–22 CLA Equity Scholars while simultaneously serving as the staff coordinator for the Department of Philosophy. In the years prior, she earned three minors at Cal State Chico—including one in Ethics and another in Philosophy more generally.

Abby successfully defended her thesis, entitled ‘Codices de la Virgen: Stories of Nuestra Señora de Juquila’, to her committee, comprised of Ulices Piña (HIST), Sophia Pandya (RELG), and Gabriel Estrada (RELG). Here is the thesis abstract:

Nuestra Señora Inmaculada Virgen de Juquila is the most popular Marian image in Oaxaca and a crucial site for pilgrimage and worship. The most flourishing written narrative about La Virgen de Juquila attests that a Dominican Friar, Jordán de Santa Catalina, gifted an image to a young boy in Santa Maria Amialtepec who had helped translate for and teach the Friar the language of Chatino. Stories about her, however, proliferate, refusing singular placement. This thesis analyzes various documents, aesthetics, and testimonies in relation to La Virgen de Juquila. But rather than excavate origins or reveal falsehoods or secure correspondence, this thesis looks to stay on the surface that pulses with dissonances—to refuse transcendence—in order to consider different possible relations to Juquila that are not centered on discipline, correspondence, or security. This might be, after all, what we have to learn from the Virgen de Juquila as she shuttles ambiguously between Juquila and Amialtepec, between gift and debt—refusing a secured placement in her excess. Therefore, refusing the necessity of a secured world, I center irresolution while interrogating the forms irresolution takes in La Virgen.