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Doctoral Student Daniel Perera Receives Beca Anfibia

Posted: April 28, 2014
Daniel Perera, Department of Anthropology

Daniel Perera, Department of Anthropology

Daniel Perera, a doctoral student in the Department of Anthropology, is the recipient of the spring 2014 Beca Anfibia. The award grants a summer stipend that will allow Perera to travel to his native Guatemala to research a story. He plans to write about about an indigenous man who is a prolific inventor of appropriate technology items that have helped change the lives of many.

Perera will collaborate in his fieldwork and writing with a Guatemalan journalist. The end result will be a crónica—a piece that combines the unique visions of the scholar and the journalist in a report written in accessible language but informed by the scholarly point of view. The finished piece will be published in Revista Anfibia, a Buenos Aires–based online magazine with wide readership.

Perera’s proposed crónica is about the violent legacy of the Guatemalan civil war in a small Kakchiquel town. “The state and the business elite pay lip-service to innovation and development, yet undermine the conditions for organic entrepreneurs to prosper,” he writes. He plans to investigate “the cruelties of contemporary Guatemalan reality through the story of a local campesino who not only labors in his fields and drives a ‘chicken bus,’ but is also a technological innovator of world renown.”

The Beca Anfibia was initiated by Gabriela Polit, associate professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, and is funded by LLILAS Benson, the Departments of Anthropology and Sociology, and the Lozano Long Chair in Latin American Sociology. The idea for the scholarship grew out of a workshop presented in spring 2013 by Visiting Resource Professor Cristian Alarcón that focused on the writing of crónicas periodísticas, nonfiction stories based in serious scholarship but written to appeal to a broad audience.

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