Florencia Mallon, Professor and Head of the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, spoke in WKU Libraries’ Far Away Places Series at Barnes & Noble on the evening of September 20, 2012. She read from her book, discussed it in the context of Chilean history, and answered questions from an overflow crowd. Mallon signed copies of her book following her presentation.
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This month’s speaker in our Far Away Places Series is Florencia Mallon, the Julieta Kirkwood Professor History and Department Chair at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. A native of Santiago, Chile, where her mother was an educator and her father an economist, she had an international education attending elementary schools in the United States, Pakistan, Chile and Argentina and high schools in Argentina, Colombia and the United States. She was influenced by her paternal grandfather who was an amateur historian and exposure to poverty as child in places like Pakistan.
While attending Harvard, where she earned a bachelor’s degree, manga cum laude in history and literature, she was encouraged by John Womack, famed historian of the Mexican Revolution, to pursue a career in history. Transferring to Yale she received her MA, MPhil and PhD.
Her teaching career has taken her from the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina in Lima, Peru, to Marquette, Yale and the University of Wisconsin where she remains passionately dedicated to teaching and from which she received University’s Emil H. Steiger’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1995. Her particular interests are: Modern Latin America, gender, ethnicity and class, an indigenous history
Her first book The Defense of Community in Peru’s Central Highlands: Peasant Struggle and Capitalist Transition, 1860-1940 first published in 1983 has been frequently reprinted and was an honorable mention for the Bolton Prize. In 1995 she received the Bryce Wood Award from the Latin American Studies Association for her book Peasant and Nation: The Making of Postcolonial Mexico and Peru published by the University of California Press. Her two most recent monographs: When A Flower is Reborn: The Life and Times of a Mapuche Feminist and Courage Tastes of Blood: The Mapuche Communiyt of Nicolas Ailio and Chilean State, 19i06-2001 were published by Duke University in 2002 and 2005. She’s received both a Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowship.
Most recently she’s penned her first novel Beyond the Ties of Blood published in 2012 by Pegasus which has drawn international acclaim and even comparison to the works of famed Chilean novelist Isabel Allende. It’s a powerful love story played out against the turmoil of Chile’s 1973 military coup and the replacement of the government of Salvador Allende with a brutal dictatorship. The novel was recently featured on NBC Latino on June 19.
She’ll be speaking this Thursday, September 20 at Barnes & Noble at 7:00 p.m. with a book signing to follow.