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Christopher Heaney is a writer and Harrington Doctoral Fellow in the History Graduate program at the University of Texas at Austin. The son of an Australian nurse and an American anthropologist, he was born in Perth, West Australia. He grew up in New Jersey, however, spending his weekends in New York at the American Museum of Natural History, and his weekdays playing trombone. After graduating from Yale University with a B.A. in Latin American Studies, he worked in journalism for several years, including a life-changing stint at the oral history project StoryCorps.
In the fall of 2005, a Fulbright Fellowship took him to Peru to continue his undergraduate research on the explorer Hiram Bingham and the excavation of Machu Picchu. The year of research in Cuzco and Lima produced articles for The New Republic and Legal Affairs Magazine, and an Op-Ed for the New York Times, and, ultimately, Cradle of Gold: The Story of Hiram Bingham, a Real-Life Indiana Jones, and the Search for Machu Picchu (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), his first book.
At UT, he studies the history of indigenous peoples in the Americas, particularly Peru, knowledge production in the Atlantic World, and grave-robbing, the world's second-oldest profession.