Current Institutional Affiliation
Humanities Fellow, Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, Columbia University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2018
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, University of California / Davis
An Avenged Massacre: The Indigenous Peasant Counter-Rebellion and the Fall of the Shining Path in the Peruvian Andes

My dissertation studies a 1992 indigenous peasant massacre and its aftermath in Huamanquiquia, a small Andean town of Ayacucho, the region where the Maoist Shining Path initiated its guerrilla war in 1980 against the Peruvian government. I historicize that tragic event in which the Shining Path murdered eighteen indigenous peasants, analyzing the experiences recounted by multiple actors and first-hand witnesses, including indigenous peasant leaders, widows, displaced persons, former guerrilla militants, and peasant supporters of Shining Path. My project seeks to understand the micro and macro level dynamics of violence and its complexity around the 1992 event and its implications for diverse actors. I also examine this event as lived and remembered experiences by focusing on what happened in the 1992 massacre –as a historical process– and how both victims and victimizers remember it –as a historical narrative. My methodological approach combines oral history, memory studies, anthropology, and indigenous studies, to move from the micro to the macro level by documenting multiple versions of the 1992 massacre and its meanings in Huamanquiquia. My research methods include primary and secondary sources in local and national archives, oral history interviews with surviving victims and perpetrators in Spanish and Quechua (my native language), an intensive ethnographic fieldwork in Huamanquiquia as well as in the urban refugee population in Lima, where the massacre's survivors fled during the conflict, and my own experience in the middle of the war in Ayacucho. It will provide a systematic analysis of violence and its impact on indigenous communities. The results will have substantive and theoretical impact on debates regarding social movements, revolutionary and counter-revolutionary violence, terrorism, historical memory, and human rights.