For Summer 2016, the Tinker grant allowed me to spend 2 months conducting preliminary research at various sites throughout Chile. Prior to this summer, I had conducted archival research for various projects, but never in my family’s home country of Chile. The purpose of the trip was to identify and connect with potential contacts for future dissertation and other long-term research projects. I was able to spend 3 weeks in Central Chile (Valparaíso, Santiago) with family and friends, exploring preliminary questions regarding history, culture, and race in Chile. Then I spent 2 weeks in the south (Villarica, Pucón, Lican Ray, Coñaripe) with family and Mapuche relatives, in conversation regarding current political and cultural struggles and visit rural indigenous education sites. Then I went to the North of Chile to visit and write a short report on the Fiesta de la Tirana. I also attended the Hemispheric Encuentro in Santiago from July 17-25, an international gathering of activists, artists, and academics who take on performance and politics in different ways. I made invaluable connections for my research and professional development overall and was able to complete various smaller preliminary studies that will all be developed either through my dissertation or future research. I also finalized the scope and aim of my dissertation during this time, which would not have been possible without these direct conversations with family, friends, relatives, and contacts in the region.
August 27, 2016