2017 Thinking Andean Studies Conference


2017 Thinking Andean Studies: An Interdisciplinary Conference

University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, February 10-11, 2017

Program – Locations

For Presenters: Registration Form for Presenters 

For Attendants: Registration Form for Attendants (General Public)  


Keynote Speaker:

Cecilia Méndez

(Associate Professor, UC Santa Barbara)

Keynote speaker Abstract:

Like other American countries after independence,  Peru was engulfed in civil wars throughout the nineteenth century. But the memories of these wars did not shape national political identities in twentieth-century Peru as they did  in, say, twentieth-century Colombia, Uruguay, Argentina, or the  United States. Rather, the memories of Peru’s nineteenth century civil wars have been overshadowed by  those of  the War of the Pacific that Peru lost to Chile (1879-1883), and the uprising lead by Túpac Amaru II in 1780-181.

Despite having occurred four decades before the establishment of Peru’s national state, the Túpac Amaru rebellion can be studied as a civil war by virtue of its lingering effects in the country’s memory.  But insofar as it was, for the most part, a repressed  memory, it was not integrated into an open, explicitly political discourse at the national level, at least until the 1960s.  My presentation analyzes the silencing and  memories of the Túpac Amaru rebellion and subsequent –mostly indigenous– rebellions (1780-1815)  as they manifested themselves in popular and  historiographical narratives from shortly after they occurred. It postulates that the erasure of these uprisings from the earliest  foundational historiographical  narratives of the nation cannot be interpreted as forgetfulness but  rather as an uneasiness toward their violent character. Yet, it was not violence per se that unsettled the dominant historiography, as much its remembrance in “ethnic” terms. Put it other words: the rebellion of Túpac Amaru  was not silenced because it was violent but because it evoked, in mostly Creole writers, the idea of  Indians exerting violence.

My ultimate goal is to decipher a seeming paradox; to wit, how the very country that produced both the major anti-Spanish colonial insurgency in Spanish America prior to the wars of independence, and the bloodiest Marxists guerrilla in the 20th century, crafted one of the most conservative –“insurgency averse” – historical narratives of national foundation in the continent.


2nd Thinking Andean Studies Conference

The aim of the second edition of this gathering is to develop an interdisciplinary network of scholars working in the growing field of Andean Studies, as well as to help foster a mentoring relationship between established and emerging scholars. The event will provide a space for participants to share their research through paper presentations and roundtable discussions, showcasing the increasing number of scholars in the US conducting research in and about the Andes. Moreover, we hope to investigate whether it is possible to theorize a voice “from the Andes,” which might include rural and urban areas of Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia, as well as certain areas of Argentina and Chile, and engage in a wide distribution of topics.

In addition, the event also aims to connect scholarship with initiatives of indigenous language and culture advocates. In this spirit, a range of Quechua advocates will present on topics that explore the intersections of indigenous languages of the Andes and media and activism, language pedagogy, literature, performance and community organizing.

During the previous edition of “Thinking Andean Studies” in 2015, the event featured 25 panel speakers, including professors and graduate students, representing 19 universities, from 3 countries (USA, Peru, Spain). It also counted with the presence of activists and advocates from 4 US states (NY, PA, MA, FL) and from Peru.



Department of Spanish and Portuguese


Call for Papers

Papers may be in both English and Spanish. Papers from any theoretical perspective and examining any aspect of the Andes are welcome, including but not restricted to: cultural studies, cultural policy, literature, indigenous studies, language planning and policy, bilingual education, decolonization, colonial studies, anthropology, sociology, cultural heritage, political science, linguistics, media studies, critical race theory, ethnomusicology, and history. Ideally, papers will engage in some fashion with the question of whether Andean Studies could constitute a theoretical perspective beyond a focus on a given geographic region.

Please submit a paper title and 200-250 words abstract to Marlen Rosas at mrosas@sas.upenn.edu . Responses will be made available by December 11th, 2016 to all who submitted.