María Esperanza Rock Núñez
María Esperanza Rock Núñez is a researcher from Chile. She was awarded her PhD degree in Ethnohistory in April 2014, at the Universidad de Chile, financed by means of a scholarship awarded by Comision Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia (CONICYT). Her career has involved research and teaching in relation to the arts, culture and heritage of local towns in Chile. She performs different kinds of research, working with students and with different interdisciplinary groups. Rock has been involved in government projects relating to the indigenous people of Chile. She worked In the Museo Antropológico Rapa Nui Sebastian Englert under the auspices of DIBAM (the Directorate for Libraries, Archives and Museums). She also collaborated with the heritage and projects unit of SERVIU (the regional government’s service for human settlements and urbanism) of Biobío Region. Rock conducted bibliographic, historical, theoretical and field research to support the declaration as historical monuments of two architectural landmarks in the coal-mining town of Lota: Mina Chiflón del Diablo (a mine shaft dating back to the mid-nineteenth century) and Parque Lota (a park where international and domestic flora and fauna, as well as old French sculptures, are found). As a result of that research, these sites were successfully awarded historical monument status in early 2009 by the National Monuments Council. In 2010, she was awarded a research grant from FONDART (the National Foundation for the Development of Arts and Culture) with the objective of generating a document that would serve to support intangible heritage education for Lota. Her book, Voces de la Historia, Relatos del Carbón came out in 2011.
She also coordinated the historical aspect of a project aimed at the identification and protection of Pewenche Heritage sites for Corporacion Nacional del Desarrollo Indigena (CONADI). Through fieldwork in the Andes mountains, Rock and her team reconstructed the local history based on documents and oral accounts.
Rock was awarded her PhD in Ethnohistory in April 2014. Her thesis, ‘Analysis of mining identity in Lota (1800-2013)’, focuses on the southern part of Chile (Lota), which was the main area of conflict between the Spanish colonists and the indigenous population from the 16th to the early 19th century. This was also the beginning of coal mining industrialization. Her investigation attempts to find the origin, formation and consolidation of the coal mining identity in the Biobío region (Chile), from 1800 to 2013. Her approach combined methodologies from different social sciences. She worked directly with national, local and international archives, and with local memories, oral tradition, family histories and other kinds of testimony. The challenge was do a “representative History” in an attempt to create a methodology to argue that representative history is useful to the local communities. Rock has presented her work at different conferences, and published it in serveral articles. She is Research Associates of Hemispheric Institute of Americas in University of California. Currently, she is working on a heritage Project in Mapuche zone of southern Chile to try to help to resolve some conflicts through studies aimed at the valorization of indigenous culture and identity. She continues to teach in her research field at some Universities in Concepción, working now in her second book by another government funding, organizing congress and writing articles.