During my stay in Lima I have been lucky enough to receive an invite to attend some Art History classes from the Peruvian Catholic University (PUCP- Universidad Catolica del Peru). The university is considered a leader in arts and humanities here in Peru, and the arts department produces world class masters and doctoral graduates. As I am variously in contact with the University anyway due to my anthropological investigations, I was chuffed when they kindly offered for me to attend some seminars of my choice as an alumna libre. The obvious choice of art history course when in Peru? Peruvian and Latin American Art in the 19th & 20th centuries, but of course!
This is the first time that I´ve been admitted to any Latin American University as a student, and I must say that PUCP did not disappoint. Having been educated in world class British Universities myself, the sense of curiosity and academia I’m so used to is certainly in the air in Lima as well. Located on the appropriately named ´University Avenue´, the PUCP has a pretty large campus, set in tranquil surroundings of manicured lawns and dotted with little student cafes and restaurants. This is a private University, and it showed in the security it takes to get in. I was redirected about three times before I got to the correct entrance, upon which I received a numbered ticket and had to wait in line just to be seen by the receptionist. Considering how the Universities that I’m used to can just be strolled freely into, this was a bit of a surprise. When walking around the campus, you bump into security guards on every corner, fittingly kitted out with ear pieces and mumbling into radios. I’m not entirely sure why this level of security is needed, but I suppose it is reassuring to know that there is always someone around for directions if you need them!
After a little wander I eventually located the correct department and got to meet the lovely Cristina, with whom I have had a few weeks of email correspondence. On discussing my anthropological research, I was then generously offered to be provided with a University library card in order to undertake my academic studies in the PUCP facilities. As I am not required to register as a student and pay fees, I have been completely bowled over by their generosity here at the PUCP. It is comforting to know that academic exchange is encouraged here and is beyond helpful to a foreign researcher like myself.
My first impressions of the University have been wholly positive, and I look forward to developing my Peruvian art history knowledge and sharing it with you here along the way!
If you´re interested in studying Art History at the PUCP in Lima, you can check out the course here:
Beckie is a volunteer with the Karikuy Volunteer Program in Lima, Peru.