El joven Raúl Porras Barrenecheaperiodismo, historia y literatura (1915-1930)

  1. Gabriel Alonso García Higueras
Supervised by:
  1. Juan Luis Carriazo Rubio Director

Defence university: Universidad de Huelva

Fecha de defensa: 15 July 2019

  1. Ascensión Martínez Riaza Chair
  2. Víctor Peralta Ruiz Secretary
  3. Maria Antonia Peña Guerrero Committee member

Type: Thesis


The dissertation presented to opt for the doctoral degree in Heritage has the object of the early work of Raul Porras Barrenechea (1897- 1960), a Peruvian historian, diplomat, educator, journalist and politician. Raul Porras is one of the main intellectual and cultural figures in his country during the XX century. This paper analyses the beginning of Porras Barrenechea's cultural activities, which correspond to the period between 1915 and 1930. His first intellectual endeavour-during his university studies was pursued through journalism, and, subsequently, through academic research in the fields of literature and history. This period covers two milestones of his intellectual biography: the publication of Alma Latina (Latin Soul for its name in Spanish}, a cultural magazine which he co-directed, and the presentation of his doctoral dissertation at the University of San Marcos in Lima, dedicated to the Congress of Panama of 1826. The perspective adopted relates the life and works of Porras to his generation, which is set in the historical context of Peru in the first three decades of the twentieth century. Research is based on the employment of archival and printed documentary sources, journalistic publications and bibliography. The thesis is structured in five chapters. The first chapter addresses the biography of Raul Porras Barrenechea, prominently, aspects of his life traject ory: his family, schooling, his years as a student at the Faculty of Arts and Jurisprudence at the University of San Marcos (1912-1920); his school and university teaching; his works as a historian, primarily, his many studies regarding the integrity of the stages of Peruvian history; his contribution to the national culture in different fields; his work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he assumed several positions and responsibilities, which included diplomatic missions abroad; the role of Porras in the Peruvian Senate, in which he was president in 1957; and, finally, his labour as Foreign Minister of Peru between 1958 and 1960, during the government of Manuel Prado Ugarteche. Chapter II traces the historical context of Peru between 1895 and 1930, analyzing political, social and economic aspects. This period comprehends two stages of Peruvian politics, known as the "Aristocratic Republic" (1895-1919) and the"Oncenio of Leguía" 1 (1919-1930). After outlining the historical landscape, the generation of Porras is studied, baptized as the "Centennial Generation", aiming their prevailing notes in an attempt of intellectual characterization. Two academic and cultural events are also studied, which gave birth to this prestigious group of intellectuals in 1919: The University Reform and the University Discussion. The third chapter explores the journalistic work of Porras between 1915 and 1930. After presenting a landscape of the Peruvian press in the first three decades of the XX century, the contributions of Porras to cultural journalism and chronicles are analyzed. His articles, chronicles and reviews were published in the magazine Alma Latina (1915-1916). His journalistic work continued during the 1920's in two important illustrated magazines of the time: Mundial and Variedades, in which he frequently wrote about historic and literary subjects, as well as social commentary and traditional chronicles. The fourth chapter examines the academic contríbutions of Porras in historic and literary research through articles and booklets (most of them published in the cultural magazine Mercurio Peruano), as well as his Bachelor's degree thesis, dedicated to the life and works of the writer Felipe Pardo y Aliaga during his youth. The chapter analyses the conception of history in Porras, and the main influences in his historical education; and it reviews and ponders biographical essays regarding civil figures of the nineteenth century. The fifth and final chapter explores the performance of Porras as chief of the Archive of Limits of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, between 1926 and 1930. The topics examined refer to the historical and juridical research he undertook, which was the basis of the Peruvian Exposition for the arbitration of the Tacna and Arica provinces, which were under Chilean occupation since 1883, territories where a referendum would be held to decide their future. Furthemore, two historical papers are reviewed; for their development, Porras had to explore documentary funds from the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Hist01y of the Limits of Peru (1926, 1930), and The Congress of Panama of 1826 (1930), which was to be his doctoral thesis in Arts.