Alumni News: Thesis for MA in Museum Anthropology wins a Special Award from Chile’s Ministry of Culture

April 17, 2018

Chile’s Ministry of Culture granted a special award to Ximena Vial-Lecaros (MA in Museum Anthropology 16') for her Masters’ thesis entitled  “The Silences Shaping the Memory of the Mapuche in the Historical National Museum of Chile”. The essay, which won the 2017 version of “Write your Thesis on Cultural Topics” contest, is posted at “Observatorio Cultural”, a digital platform administered by the Ministry that contains articles, videos and research documents pertaining to the country’s heritage, cultural history, literature and the arts.    


Ximena, who is currently teaching a course on Memory and Migration at Chile’s Universidad Diego Portales (UDP) and Universidad del Desarrollo (UDD), has a BA in History from Universidad Católica. In 2014, she was awarded a Fulbright and Becas Chile scholarships to study an MA in Museum Anthropology, which is offered jointly by the Columbia Department of Anthropology and the American Museum of Natural History, Columbia and Conicyt Chilean Scholarship 2014.


Her research focuses on themes related to the construction of national narratives through museums, memory and silences in relation to human rights in Latin America and is based on oral history as a means to explore collective and individual memories. The “Write your Thesis on Cultural Topics” contest is promoted by the Ministry of Culture to promote research on culture issues from a multi-disciplinary perspective.