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Date(s) - 02/03/2016
12:00 am

Garrison Hall 4.100

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** Please RSVP to Samantha R. Rubino (s.rubino@utexas.edu) by Monday, February 1st to receive a copy of the paper! **
The Institute for Historical Studies in the Department of History invites you to:
“The Ancient Peruvian Panopticon: Mortuary Sovereignty and Atlantic Museums in Andean Independence,1780-1841
A New Work in Progress workshop by
Christopher Heaney
Doctoral Candidate, Department of History
The University of Texas at Austin
Wednesday, February 3
1:00 – 2:30pm
GAR 4.100
“This chapter is an intellectual and cultural history of how colonial Peruvian elites went from extirpating and destroying the Andean ancestral dead to studying, collecting, and displaying “ancient Peruvian” mummies as “Incas” in the nation’s very first museum. It argues that late eighteenth century creole intellectuals were highly aware that Peru’s dead could speak to Atlantic universal history and its museums. But the elite, coastal claim of the Inca body was more than academic: it was violent, political, religious, and deeply concerned with sovereignty. I suggest that after the disarticulations of the bodies of Tupac Amaru and his rebel family between 1780 and 1783, a radical antiquarianism of the Andean dead was assembled. Mummified forms established an alternate genealogy for Peruvian nationhood, that cut living Incas from the family tree in order to regrow an elite but non-indigenous Inca identity from their husky roots—a more coastal process parallel to the more studied Christian Andean community disillusionment with caciques and their ancestors. The Peruvian National Museum, opened in the former quarters of the Inquisition in 1826, thus emerges as not just a panopticon upon the ancient Peruvian past, but also upon Spanish colonialism itself, whose contingent protection of the rights of indigenous communities and their lords had become more outdated than the Incas, ironically.”
Christopher Heaney is a Harrington Doctoral Fellow in history at the University of Texas at Austin. The co-founder of The Appendix and Backlist, Heaney is also the author of Cradle of Gold (Palgrave Macmillan 2010), and, as of August 2016, will be an assistant professor of modern Latin American history at the Pennsylvania State University. His dissertation, “The Pre-Columbian Exchange: The Circulation of the Ancient Peruvian Dead in the Americas and Atlantic World,” is a history of how pre-colonial Andean skulls and mummies were unearthed, studied, and displayed from the mid-sixteenth century to the mid-twentieth. It argues that Iberian and indigenous practices of opening graves and circulating their dead shaped Anglo-American understandings of indigenous history and its excavation, particularly after Peruvian independence in the 1820s, when the “ancient Peruvian” dead became the single most collected population in the Americas’ museums. Finally, it shows that indigenous Peruvians were central to this process, writing back to Anglo-American universal history and scientific racism by referring to the dead as texts of indigenous medical healing and study
Read more about Maria José and her work on her profile page:
Bianca Premo
Associate Professor of History, Florida International University
and Research Fellow, Institute for Historical Studies University of Texas at Austin
Samantha R. Rubino,  NWP Chair and Coordinator of the New Work in Progress Series; 
and Ph.D. Student in the History Department, The University of Texas at Austin
Free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. RSVP required.