Interview by Jen Eckel
We begin our series with an interview with Christopher Heaney.
Christopher Heaney is a Harrington Doctoral Fellow in the History Graduate program at the University of Texas at Austin. After graduating from Yale University with a B.A. in Latin American Studies, he worked in journalism for several years, including a life-changing stint at the oral history project StoryCorps.
In the fall of 2005, a Fulbright Fellowship took him to Peru to continue his undergraduate research on the explorer Hiram Bingham and the excavation of Machu Picchu. The year of research in Cuzco and Lima produced articles for The New Republic and Legal Affairs Magazine, and an Op-Ed for the New York Times, and, ultimately, Cradle of Gold: The Story of Hiram Bingham, a Real-Life Indiana Jones, and the Search for Machu Picchu (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), his first book.
At UT, Heaney studies the history of archaeology and indigenous peoples in the Americas, particularly Peru, knowledge production in the Atlantic World, museum-building, race and nation-building, and grave-robbing, the world’s second-oldest profession.
In the interview, Christopher tells us about how he stumbled upon Hiram Bingham, the subject of his undergraduate thesis and first book, and how he combined his love of archaelogy and history to become a historian of Latin American history.
Learn more about Christopher Heaney and his work by visiting his website.
You may also like:
This recent National Public Radio story about the recent legal battle between Yale University and the Peru government, featuring comments from Christopher Heaney.