Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationNew York, Graduate Center, City U. of
Grant numberGr. 9483
Approve DateApril 26, 2017
Project TitleParisano, Christopher J., City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Between Waste and Huacas: Cultural Patrimony and Recyclers' Rights in Lima-Peru,' supervised by Dr. John F. Collins
CHRISTOPHER J. PARISANO, then a graduate student at City University of New York, Graduate Center, New York, New York, received funding in April 2017 to aid research on ‘Between Waste and Huacas: Cultural Patrimony and Recyclers’ Rights in Lima-Peru,’ supervised by Dr. John F. Collins. This fieldwork traced shifting property relations in Lima, Peru by examining how efforts by the Ministry of Culture to convert pre-Columbian shrines, or huacas, into cultural patrimony reconfigure popular economic resources and forms of legal personhood tied to their use. Once targets of colonial-era looting and anti-idolatry campaigns, Lima’s huacas have more recently merged with auto-constructed communities where they are used as dumpsites and as sources of salvageable commodities. By focusing on the overlapping value-producing techniques of scrap-pickers and heritage administrators, and the field of moral discourse undergirding these groups’ attempts to extract goods from huacas, this project analyzes the ways official definitions of waste instantiate a tension between market exchange and cultural preservation at the core of emergent property regimes. Findings reveal that claims to these sites and their contents are embedded within a contentious spiritual landscape whose agents include Pentecostal preachers and urban sorcerers. This project’s exploration of struggles over huacas’ commercial value, their status as monuments to national culture, and their role as sacred elements in popular religious practice points to the centrality of these sites in shaping ideas about spiritual corruption and salvation, possession, and collective being, and thus in staking authoritative claims to resources in marginal communities.