Notes from the Field: Miguel La Serna Returns to Ayacucho

Miguel La Serna, author of The Corner of the Living, recently returned to his research communities in Peru to donate a copy of his published work to local archives. Here, he shares his field notes from that experience, including some sobering updates on his community collaborators. Continue Reading Notes from the Field: Miguel La Serna Returns to Ayacucho

Excerpt: The Corner of the Living, by Miguel La Serna

In many ways, my initial trip to Chuschi reflects the challenges of doing historical anthropology about the late twentieth century. […] the very people about whom I had been reading—and forming opinions—in the archives were still living. Even in cases where the historical actors had passed away, their children and neighbors still lived. As such, I had to deal with something I never anticipated: the feelings of my archival subjects. Continue Reading Excerpt: The Corner of the Living, by Miguel La Serna

Interview: Miguel La Serna on research in the aftermath of Peru’s Shining Path insurgency

Any kind of research dealing with living human subjects is sensitive, even more so when it involves recent political violence. One thing I was reminded constantly was that my very presence in the field stirred up a host of issues and anxieties that villagers had either suppressed or were still dealing with. Continue Reading Interview: Miguel La Serna on research in the aftermath of Peru’s Shining Path insurgency

Miguel La Serna: Peru and the Shining Path: Mission Accomplished?

When Peruvian president Ollanta Humala received the news last week that Florindo Flores Hala, a.k.a. “Comrade Artemio,” had been captured, he immediately set out for the Upper Huallaga Valley to congratulate the security forces responsible for bringing down the Shining Path leader. “In the name of the police and the army we can say to the country: mission accomplished,” affirmed the exultant president. The fall of the rebel leader has many asking: is this the end of Shining Path? Continue Reading Miguel La Serna: Peru and the Shining Path: Mission Accomplished?