School of Modern Languages

Staff Profiles

Sarah Bennison

  • Former Research Student

Doctoral Student in Iberian and Latin American Studies


Prof. Rosaleen Howard and Dr. Patricia Oliart

Who are the children of Pariacaca? Exploring identity through narratives of water and landscape in Huarochirí, Peru.

This AHRC-funded interdisciplinary PhD research project explores cultural identity in the Peruvian Andes by looking at the highly expressive domain of water practice in the (monolingual Spanish)  highland Huarochirí province, department of Lima. My thesis draws on oral narratives from the district of San Damián collected through in-depth fieldwork in 2012.

The project also draws in textual analysis of the so-called Huarochirí Manuscript: a unique colonial document (written in Quechua) from the same region which contains information on the cultural elaboration of water in the early colonial era. The analysis of this text enables me to pose questions about processes of change and continuity over time. Of particular interest are continuities and changes in irrigators' relationships with their local environment and the beings which dwell in it, and emerge from it, as well as the vocabulary which they employ to describe the landscape.

Through this approach, my thesis builds on the work of Marisol de la Cadena through proposing that debates concerning ‘Indigenous cosmopolitics’ are applicable to groups who do not necessarily define themselves as indigenous or speak an indigenous language.


  • LAS 2027 Quechua Language
  • LAS 2028 Diversidad Cultural en America Latina
  • LAS4003 Youth Cultures in Latin America (guest seminar leader)
  • Spanish Language Mentor on the University Wide Language Programme (UWLP)
  • March 2015: Guest lecturer for GEO3061 : Ethno-development: Development with Identity (School of Geography, Politics and Sociology)

Research Activities

In autumn 2014 I worked as a Research Assistant for a Newcastle University project based in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology where I conducted a preliminary study into climate change within the River Piura watershed in northern Peru, with a focus on historical sources. 

Research Interests 

Cosmopolitics, political ontology, ethnographic method.

Research Groups

 I am a member of SLAS (Society for Latin American Studies) and BISA (British International Studies Association). I am also a member of the following Newcastle University-based groups:

  • CLACS (Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies)
  • Cultural Significance of Place Research Group
  • Oral History Research Strand