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McNair Scholar 2013Russel T. Peterson

Russel T. Peterson is a junior at Carleton College, majoring in history and concentrating in Latin American studies. His research interests include the histories of human rights abuses in dictatorial regimes as it pertains to Latin American art, culture, and politics. Mr. Peterson plans on obtaining his Ph.D. in Latin American history.

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My dream is to receive a Ph.D. in Latin American history and an advanced degree in the public humanities with a focus in museum studies. I aspire to become a published researcher and also wish to share my fascination with history to inspire the curiosity of future generations.

Research project

Weaponized Art: Shining Path and Its Influences on Independent Peruvian Theater

Abstract: The effects of Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) on Peruvian independent theater were examined with the intent of discovering whether or not Shining Path, through Movimiento de Artistas Populares (MAP), had infiltrated Movimiento de Teatro Independiente - Perú (MOTIN-Perú), an organization that encompassed a majority of independent theater groups. Questions asked included how did Shining Path influence the organization of political theater and how it affected the aesthetic performance as well. The use of Dr. Luis Ramos-García's personal archives and the Hugo Salazar Peruvian Theater Video Collection at the University of Minnesota were used to collect primary sources. Secondary sources were found through academic databases and other bibliographies. After careful analysis, the results concluded that while Shining Path influenced stylistic and political performance in independent theater, no definitive evidence was found that suggested Shining Path openly manipulated the organization of groups like MOTIN. Although indications of radical attitudes exist in the work of MOTIN-Perú, further research is needed in this area. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Luis A. Ramos-García is an associate professor in the Spanish and Portuguese Studies department in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota. Originally from Peru, Dr. Ramos-García attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he obtained his Ph.D. in Spanish and Latin American literature and contemporary Latin American theater. His research focuses on Latin American political theater, shantytown cultural manifestation, and human rights. Dr. Ramos-García has published multiple journal articles and books and has collaborated across the continents with many contemporary artists, playwrights, directors and critics. This is Ramos-García's first year as a McNair faculty mentor.