Marlen Rosas

Marlen Rosas

Ph.D. Candidate

My dissertation brings critical archive studies, oral history, and intellectual history approaches to the study of indigenous mobilization in twentieth century Ecuador, arguably the most organized indigenous movement in the history of the Americas. It argues that indigenous activists remade literacy for themselves, expanding it to include radical forms of community-based archiving and the writing of history. They recorded oral histories, printed books and visual images, and  positioned their local leaders as icons for the next generation. This work laid claim to new forms of political participation as alliances with the organized Left unraveled, and government functionaries became systematic about limiting activists’ power. Their community’s history of militant activism that began in the 1920s was in the 1960s repositioned as an intellectual tool of political action.


B.A. Latin American & Caribbean Studies, Columbia University (2014), Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow

A.M. History, University of Pennsylvania (2016)



Ann Farnsworth-Alvear

Dissertation Committee
Ann Farnsworth-Alvear
Kathy Peiss
Amy Offner
Nancy Hornberger (GSE)

Dissertation Title
Recording Resistance: Indigenous Activists' Archives and Power in Twentieth-Century Ecuador

Research Interests

Modern Latin American History; Indigenous Peoples' Histories; Oral History; History of Education; Critical Archive Studies; Histories of Race and Ethnicity; Intellectual History