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Renzo Aroni

Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, Columbia University

Lecturer, Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, Columbia University

Fellow, Society of Fellows, SOF/Heyman, Columbia University (2020–2023)

email address [email protected]
Headshot of Renzo Aroni

Renzo Aroni is a Quechua scholar and historian of modern Latin America, primarily twentieth and twenty-first-century Peru. He received his Ph.D. in History with dual emphases in Human Rights and Native American Studies from the University of California, Davis, in 2020. He has an M.A. in Anthropology, with a focus on Ethnomusicology, from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). His research interests and teaching specializations include social movements, revolutions, and Indigenous politics, particularly as they intersect with culture, memory, and resistance.

Aroni is completing his book project, “Huamanquiquia: A Village of Resistance and Massacre in Peru’s Shining Path.” It explores how, from 1980 to 1992, Peru’s Indigenous Quechua-speaking people engaged with and ultimately resisted the Shining Path guerrilla insurgency, contributing to its defeat. His lived experience in the conflict epicenter and his original archival research, including community record books, along with his long-term ethnographic fieldwork and oral history interviews with Indigenous peasants and former guerrilla fighters, help illuminate the everyday wartime violence and resistance from a micro-historical perspective. His research has received support from the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and the UC Davis Provost’s Dissertation Fellowship. His writings have appeared in journals, such as Latin American Perspectives, NACLA Report on the Americas, Peruvian media, and book chapters in Spanish and English.

In his leisure time and as a personal interest, Aroni plays his 12-string pumpin guitar. This music takes him to his native Ayacucho in the Andes, refreshing both his mind and spirit. He is also a founding member of Kuskalla Abya Yala, a non-academic initiative dedicated to revitalizing Indigenous languages, such as the Quechua language in the Andes.