International Encyclopaedia
of the Histories of Anthropology

The Cornell Project in Peru remains in the history of US anthropology as one of the most controversial symbols of the practical value of anthropology as an applied science. Between 1951 and 1966, the hacienda of Vicos, located near the city of Huaraz, Peru, was transformed into a field station by Allan R. Holmberg (1909–1966) who led a team of social scientists from Cornell University. Its creators promoted Vicos as an emblematic place for theoretical thinking on the cultural changes resulting from development projects implemented by governments and international agencies. They tried to impose anthropologists as indispensable protagonists in the success of countries’ development and modernisation policies. Initially considered a success, the Cornell Project in Peru soon came under severe criticism.

Keywords: Applied anthropology | Second half of the 20th century | Peru | United States of America | Modernisation | Development Policy | Development | Allan R. Holmberg

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