Work in Progress Talk: Gabriel Ramón Joffré

Thursday, February 9, 2012 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
LAL Seminar Room
The Latin American Library 7001 Freret Street, 4th floor, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library

Work in Progress Talk by Greenleaf Fellow Gabriel Ramón Joffré: El inca indica Huatica: Pre-Colonial Symbols and the Urban Landscape (Lima 1910-1940)

Official discourses on the nation gain strength by referring to ancestral monuments and objects: the relics of the nation. In the post-Colonial Andes, archaeological sites (a.k.a. huacas) have been used repeatedly to advance political narratives. A decade ago, the Peruvian president held his inauguration in Macchu Picchu, an Inca site. Four years later, his Bolivian counterpart did the same in Tiahuanaco, a pre-Inca site. Focusing on early twentieth-century Lima, I will discuss the selection process of pre-Colonial national relics and explain what happened when these symbols, which usually originated in the highlands, arrived to the city. It was in this context that the famous Neo-Peruvian architectural style was shaped. Emilio Harth-Terré (1899-1983), a Peruvian urban planner and historian, was a key figure in this endeavour. My presentation will be illuminated with original material from the Harth Terré Collection at The Latin American Library.

Gabriel Ramón Joffré obtained B.A.s in archaeology (Universidad de San Marcos, Lima), and history (Pontificia Universidad Católica, Lima). His Master's thesis on urban history (Universidade de São Paulo) won the María Rostworowski national prize in Humanities and was published as a book, La muralla y Los callejones (SIDEA/Prom Perú, 1999). Ramón Joffré earned his Ph.D in archaeology at the University of East Anglia and completed an interdisciplinary post-doctorate in the ethnography section of the British Museum. The Spanish version of his article “The Script of Urban Surgery: Lima 1850-1940” (in Almandoz, A. ed. Planning Latin America’s Capital Cities 1850-1950, London: Routledge) won the Peruvian National Social Sciences award in 2002 (Ensayos en Ciencias Sociales 1, 2004). His article “The Inca indica Huatica”, is in press (Mundos Exteriores, Lima 1900-2010, C. Aguirre and A. Panfichi, eds.). He currently teaches at Pontificia Universidad Católica in Lima.


Click for larger image

The statue of Inca Manco Capac pointing to the Huatica red light district (ca 1927)

This event is made possible by the Richard E. Greenleaf Endowment at The Latin American Library.

This talk will be in English.