[Academic Event]

Memoirs of/for a Future Reconciliation

Where: April 13, 2019 | 1- 5 pm (Light lunch will be served)

Where: Resource Room (S216), DRCLAS, CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 02138

The wounds inflicted by the protracted civil war Peru faced between 1980 and the early 2000s have proven hard to heal. After twenty years since the violence ceased, vast sectors of the population have yet to acknowledge their responsibility in the conflict, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations are contested and remain unattended. As a result, the country continues to struggle to move past the fractious and precarious political landscape inaugurated by Fujimori, a landscape which has continued to operate despite the unusually high level of lack of political representation.

Therefore, Lima’s literary scene recently caused a stir when a number of novels and “self-fictional” works by direct witnesses of the internal conflict appeared.  They have ignited perhaps the most engaging discussions about reconciliation in Peru to date. Published coincidentally in 2015, two acclaimed novels/memoirs by Renato Cisneros and José Carlos Agüero–both addressing their memory of the conflict through the interrogation of their parental figures, each situated at diametrically opposed sides of the political spectrum—entered into dialogue with Lurgio Gavilán’s devastating memoir published a few years earlier (2012): Gavilán was a child soldier who fought for Shining Path and the Peruvian army before becoming a priest and an anthropologist later.

In this highly anticipated gathering, writers Renato Cisneros (“La distancia que nos separa”), José Carlos Agüero (“Los rendidos: Sobre el don de perdonar”) and Lurgio Gavilán (“Memorias de un soldado desconocido”) join literary scholar Alexandra Hibbett and renowned political scientist Alberto Vergara to engage in a discussion not only of their respective works but, more importantly, on what they have learned from each other through the capacity of literature to open new spaces for reconciliation.

[Please note this event will be in Spanish]


Renato Cisneros

José Carlos Agüero (via Skype)

Lurgio Gavilán


Alexandra Hibbett (Universidad Católica)

Alberto Vergara (Universidad del Pacífico)

Sponsored by:

DRCLAS – Andean & Southern Cone Program

Mahindra Humanities Center

Weatherhead Institute of Politics


Cultural Agents Inc.

Art Life Laboratory

For more information and to RSVP, write to Paola Ibarra at pibarra@fas.harvard.edu