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Maria Koulouri

Email: mk278@st-andrews.ac.uk

Thesis/research: Hidden Texts of the Andes: Deciphering the ‘’Khipus’’ (Cord Writing) of Peru.


Professor Sabine Hyland , Dr Stephanie Bunn

Research interests: writing systems, literacy, Andean writing, collective/social memory, language, ritual and art, ethnohistory, community-based research.

Project description: Hidden Texts of the Andes: Deciphering the ‘’Khipus’’ (Cord Writing) of Peru.

This interdisciplinary project which will be employing mixed-methods aims to understand how Khipu cords, an indigenous writing system dating back to Inca and pre-Inca Empires, creatively demonstrated Andean sociality within the context of public performance practices from the late 18th century until recently in Peruvian highlands.

Auto-biography: My first degree in Social Work enabled me to carry out participant and non-participant observation in education settings (nursery, primary and boarding schools with SEN pupils) as well as structured and unstructured interviews for a number of different projects in Greece. My professional (social work) training was a six-month placement at a treatment facility for substance misuse where I worked directly with patients, clinical professionals and social services. Later, I completed an MSc in Social Research Methods and Statistics at the department of Sociology, City University of London; my dissertation used DHS population data to examine risk factors (such as wealth index) associated with child malnutrition in Zambia, sub-Saharan Africa. I have worked at a private education company on evaluation and awarding projects for several years and I am a member of the Social Research Association.

Other research interests: sustainability and environmental conservation, drug policy and human rights, spirituality and the body, research methodology and ethics.