The distinction of Senior Fellow is awarded to scholars, artists, and activists affiliated with the Hemispheric Institute whose work exemplifies the highest achievement in the field of performance and politics. Fellows are selected by the Institute's Executive Board. The first two fellows, Jesusa Rodríguez and Luis Millones, were named at the 2007 Encuentro in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This year we are proud to name Tomás Ybarra-Frausto and Guillermo Gómez-Peña as our 2009 Senior Fellows. Thank you, Tomás and Guillermo, for all you have done for the Hemispheric Institute over the past ten years.
Gómez-Peña is a performance artist/writer and the director of the transnational arts collective La Pocha Nostra. He was born in Mexico City and moved to the US in 1978. Since then he has been exploring cross-cultural issues with the use of performance, multilingual poetry, journalism, video, radio, and installation art.
Ybarra-Frausto is an independent scholar of Latin American and U.S. Latino arts and culture. He was formally the Associate Director of Creativity and Culture at the Rockefeller Foundation. Prior to joining the Rockefeller Foundation, Dr. Ybarra-Frausto was a tenured professor at Stanford University in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. In 2007, the Mexican government bestowed “The Order of The Aztec Eagle” on Dr. Ybarra-Frausto citing his life work in fostering cultural understanding between the United States and Mexico through the arts and humanities.
Mexico’s most influential cabaret and political performance artist, recipient of an Obie Award. Often referred to as a chameleon, Rodríguez moves seemingly effortlessly and with vigor across the spectrum of cultural forms, styles, and tones. Her work challenges traditional classification, crossing with ease generic boundaries: from elite to popular to mass, from Greek tragedy to cabaret, from pre-Columbian indigenous to opera, from revue, sketch and carpa, to performative acts within political projects. She ran the famous El Hábito in Mexico City with her partner, Liliana Felipe, where they staged hundreds of shows over the course of fifteen years. Most recently, she heads up the Resistencia Creativa movement in Mexico, whose key strategy is using "massive cabaret" as a tool for political action.
As one of Peru's leading historians, Luis Millones is the recipient of Peru’s National Culture Fellowship and a founding member of the Interdisciplinary Seminar of Andean Studies in Lima. He is also a member of the Chilean Academy of History and a researcher with the National Ethnology Museum of Japan. Millones currently teaches in the graduate program of Social Sciences at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Peru, is professor emeritus of the University of San Cristobal de Huamanga, Ayacucho, and a visiting professor at several universities outside Peru. He is the author of numerous articles and books on the Andean world, including Ser indio en el Perú.