Historian Charles Walker Honored in Cusco, Peru

By Alex Russell - Charles Walker was celebrated as an Honorary Professor by the National University of San Antonio Abad, where he has led regular courses and seminars on historiography for the past 25 years. The ceremony took place on August 6, 2014 in Cusco, Peru.

"I was excited as soon as I heard of the possibility of this honor," said Walker. "For me it is very significant." 

Walker is a Professor of History at UC Davis and directs the school's Hemispheric Institute on the Americas. When he first began teaching there in 1989, Peru was a different place. The country was in a period of intense inflation. The country had five percent of the tourism it does today. The buses to Lima were dangerous, and Cusco, he said, was quite isolated.

"From the start I worked with very dynamic students wanting to explore new perspectives, develop comparative history, and improve their skills as historians, especially in writing," said Walker. "It was an unforgettable experience that has marked my life, as a historian and as a person." 

Two of Walker's three books are about Cusco, the most recent of which is The Tupac Amaru Rebellion (Harvard, 2014), an examination the 18th century rebellion which became largest in the history of Spain’s American empire.

The ceremony took place during the Sixth National Congress of History in Cusco. The event provided a space where local and foreign faculty and students could exchange ideas on historiography. The event was meant to coincide with the bicentenary of the of the Pumacahua and Angulo Brothers' revolution against Spanish rule in 1814.