Dr. Jaymie Heilman in Ayacucho, Peru

Jaymie Heilman

Associate Professor

History & Classics
2-23 Tory Building, HM

Dr. Jaymie Patricia Heilman is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and Classics. Originally from the Edmonton area, she did her graduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and taught at Dalhousie University in Halifax, before returning to Edmonton to join the University of Alberta.

Dr. Heilman’s research focuses on rural and indigenous politics in twentieth-century Peru. As a historian, she combines archival research with oral history interviews, working with indigenous men and women in peasant communities in the southern Andean region of Ayacucho.

Her first book, Before the Shining Path, explored the historical antecedents of Peru’s 1980-1992 civil war, a conflict initiated when militants of the Peruvian Communist Party-Shining Path launched an armed struggle against the Peruvian state. The book shows that rural Peru was home to a diverse array of radical political movements in the eight decades preceding the Shining Path’s emergence.

Dr. Heilman’s current project is a life history of the indigenous peasant leader, Manuel Llamojha Mitma. Llamojha led major mobilizations for land in his home region of Ayacucho from the 1940s through the early 1960s, and he served as Secretary General of Peru’s national peasant organization from 1962 until 1973. The book project uses archival research in conjunction with extensive interviews with the Peruvian nonagenarian.  The article, "To Fight Soviet Agents in the Fatherland: Anti-Communism in Ayacucho's APRA" explores Llamojha’s political work in the 1940s.