In 1968, General Juan Velasco Alvarado led a coup d’état against Perú’s President Fernando Belaúnde Terry. Velasco seized power and installed the “Revolutionary Government of the Armed Forces.” This political upheaval was the first awareness of social inequality in my young world. Four years later, the education reform intended to address gaps left in the education of Indigenous people and, in 1975, Perú became the first country in the world to make Quechua an official language. Unfortunately, the authoritarian regime of the military dictatorship was intolerant to any initiatives that would not align with their ideological system. I witnessed Perú’s dive into a deep economic crisis. The 1980 presidential elections brought Belaúnde Terry back for a second term while the rise of Perú’s conflicto armado interno continued for almost two decades. While deciding on a topic for my B.A. thesis in Perú, a professor asked me what I wanted to know about the most and why. My answer brought me to the academic choices from where I read, think, and write today: I wanted to understand how and when present-day inequalities in Peruvian societies began, including their origins and changes over time, with the hope of discovering ways to address them.
A native from Perú, Rocío Quispe-Agnoli is Professor of Hispanic Studies with a specialization in Colonial Latin American Literatures and Cultures in the Department of Romance and Classical Studies at Michigan State University (MSU). She is a core faculty member for the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Center for Gender Studies in a Global Context. She is affiliated faculty in the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program and the Program of Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities. She served as Director of the Center for Integrative Studies in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State (2007-2011), the MSU General Education program in Arts and Humanities.
Her research projects have been supported by fellowships and grants from the Escuela de Estudios Hispanoamericanos de Sevilla (Spain), the MSU Humanities Research and Arts Program, the MSU Creating Inclusive Excellence Grant, the National Endowment of Humanities, the Newberry Library (Chicago), the Lilly Library (Indiana University), the Spanish Institute of Iberoamerican Cooperation, and Spain’s Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. She has also conducted extensive archival work in various libraries of Mexico, Perú, Spain, and the United States. Her research interest includes issues of race, ethnicity and identity, women’s and gender studies, visual studies, and circulation of images among different media, reflections on coloniality, and television and telenovela studies.
Rocío Quispe-Agnoli is also a creative writer and has published a book of short stories. Her short fiction has earned her several awards. She is also an amateur photographer and won the 2011 MSU Global Focus Competition-People’s Choice Award. Every four years, she avidly follows the Soccer World Cup.
• Ph.D. Hispanic Studies, Brown University (2000)
• M.A. Hispanic Studies, Brown University (1993)
• M.A. D.E.A. Sciences du Langage, Université de Toulouse II (1987)
• Licenciatura, Lingüística Hispánica, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (1985)
• B.A. Lingüística y Literatura Hispánicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (1984)