Go Global Office of Global Engagement

Peru - Making and Unmaking Indigeneity in the Andes

LAST 315 | 6 credits

Program overview

This course is led by  Jon Beasley-Murray, Department of FHIS | Faculty of Arts 

  • Course dates: May 22 – July 3, 2024 (subject to confirmation)
  • Travel dates: May 22 – July 3, 2024 (subject to confirmation)
  • Format: In-person 
  • Location: Lima, Cusco, Pisac, Peru
  • Approximate program fee: $3500 (Go Global fee, tuition and flights are not included) More info below
  • Funding available (click through to learn more about each award) 

Information Session Recording Available


Passcode: 4=7C!J4O

Presentation slides can be viewed here.

Apply by December 5, 2023

Application instructions here

Apply Now

About the course                                                                                                               

See the full course website at: https://last315.arts.ubc.ca/ 

This course will trace the construction and reconstruction, negotiation and reinvention, production and consumption of Indigeneity in the Andes, with a focus on Peru and the “Sacred Valley” between Cusco and Machu Picchu, from precolonial times to the present.  

We will read and discuss key texts written by and about Peru’s Indigenous people. These range from early seventeenth-century accounts of Inca civilization and the Spanish conquest, written from an Indigenous point of view, to novels and testimonies associated with twentieth-century indigenismo, to contemporary scholarly accounts of insurgency, politics, culture, and tourism in the Andes. 

After orientation in Lima, our base will be Pisac, originally established as a colonial reducción, twenty miles from the former Inca capital of Cusco, where we will be staying in a refurbished mansion (built in 1832 and just two blocks from the town’s main square). From here, we will investigate the local ecosystem and cultural networks, from nearby Indigenous communities and their land management practices to markets, handicraft production, and the booming tourism industry in the towns lining the Sacred Valley. 

Periodically, we will undertake field trips further afield, such as to the former Inca citadel, Machu Picchu, the so-called “lost city of the Incas” allegedly “discovered” by U.S. historian Hiram Bingham in 1911, and now Peru’s most emblematic tourist destination. 

The program’s climax will be attendance at Cusco’s most important festival, Inti Raymi or the “festival of the sun,” which has been held at the nearby ruins of Sacsayhuamán since its reinvention by indigenista intellectuals in the 1940s. Such inventions and reinventions will be the object of study and reflection over the course of our month in highland Peru, as we consider the various incarnations of Indigeneity over time, whose persistent legacies will be apparent in our everyday encounters and travels through the region.

Watch a quick video for some highlights of this program here.

Program eligibility  
General Global Seminar requirements

To participate in a Global Seminar, students must: 

  • Be in good-standing in their faculty (as defined by home faculty) 
  • In the year leading up to the Global Seminar, have full-time student status (as defined by home faculty)  
  • Have completed 2nd year requirements before the start of the program (i.e., eligible for 3rd or 4th year standing)  
  • Have at least a 70% academic average in your last full-time academic session before applying 
  • Maintain a 70% academic average leading up to the program
  • Meet any program specific requirements listed below including pre-requisites before participating   
Program-specific requirements


Final selection will be done by the lead faculty program directors. Spots in the program may be limited. 

Students who wish to participate in the summer after graduating may be eligible on a case-by-case basis.

Experience and conditions in the Field

This course will be a mix of formal seminars and a series of activities in the field led by the instructor. 

Throughout, typically, we will gather for formal instruction (mostly in seminar format) three days a week, meeting for up to two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon (40-60 total hours of seminar instruction). Other instruction will take place as part of field trips (in visits to local communities, archaeological sites, museums, markets, cultural events, and so on).  

Time when we are not formally meeting together will be available for personal study (reading set texts, writing written responses and blog posts, working on written assignments, preparing the video assignment); it is expected that students will spend on average at least 4-5 hours per day in personal study, which includes cultural and sociological observation in the neighbouring environment. They will document both their responses to their readings and their cultural and travel observations. 

Days that we have no formal instruction (and are not travelling to a field trip) are also available for independent activities, local trips, and relaxation.  


Dependent on location: mix of lodging and hostel space 

Program fees and costs
Approximate program fees: $3200 - $3500.00* 

*The final fee depends on the number of students in the program. All Global Seminars only run if there is a minimum number of students enrolled.       

  • Accommodations
  • Program- related travel in-country; (e.g. buses)  
  • Excursions and entrance fees  
  • Some group meals  
  • On-site guest lectures
Not Included:  
  • Go Global Fee
  • Flights
  • UBC tuition for credits  
  • Visa/country entrance fees  
  • Health/travel insurance
  • Personal spending money*  

*Some examples of personal costs included: mobile communication, personal transportation that is not related to the learning outcomes of the program, additional meals that are not already identified as part of the Program Fee, immunizations, Visas, etc.

Indigenous Global Connections (IGC) 

This program is supported by Indigenous Global Connections (IGC) funding.

All elligible students* selected to participate in an IGC-designated Global Seminar will receive up to $5000 in funding ($4000 from IGC and $1000 from the Go Global Award).

IGC, funded by Global Skills Opportunity Canada, provides undergraduate Canadian and Permanent Resident students with financial support to participate in various non-traditional exchange experiences, cross-cultural collaboration and professional networking with Indigenous peoples in Canada and the Globally - with a focus on sharing and learning with local communities. 

As part of the experience participants will engage in pre- and post-experience sharing with other students and community members while fostering reflection and understanding. 

See Go Global’s Award page for information on eligibility and requirements of the award 

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