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Peter Klaren (Ph.D. 1968)
February 1, 2018


Press Release: Washington, DC (September 15 2017)—The Peruvian Ambassador bestowed the Order of the Sun (Orden del Sol del Peru) on Dr. Peter  F. Klarén, Professor Emeritus of History and International Affairs, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University.


In a ceremony on September 15 at the residence of the Peruvian Ambassador in Washington, Ambassador Carlos Pareja awarded long time George Washington University Professor Peter F. Klarén Peru’s highest distinction, the Order of the Sun [La Orden del Sol del Peru] in the rank of Commander.  The award, made on behalf of the President of Peru, was in recognition of Dr. Klarén’s outstanding scholarly contributions on the history and politics of Peru as well as to the field of Latin American Studies at-large. 

The ceremony was attended by the Ambassador’s wife, members of the Peruvian diplomatic community and some fifty guests,  many of whom were leading figures in Peruvian and Latin America Studies.  Dr. Sara Castro- Klarén, Professor of Literature and Culture at Johns Hopkins University and Professor Klarén‘s wife, was also was decorated at the ceremony with the Order of the Sun for her contributions in literary criticism and cultural history as well as the field of Latin American Studies at-large.

The Liberator José San Martin (1878-1850) established the Order of the Sun in 1821 shortly after the declaration of Peru’s independence from Spain.  The Peruvian government reestablished the order in 1921, and since then it has been awarded periodically by the President to Heads of State, Diplomats and those who have unquestionably left a mark on the culture and history of Peru. 

Dr. Klarén was born in Summit, New Jersey and received his B.A. degree from Dartmouth College in 1960 and Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).  He is currently an Emeritus Professor of History and International Affairs at George Washington University and taught at GWU for over forty years.   Dr. Klarén has also taught at Washington State University, Dartmouth College, Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins School of International Service (SAIS), and the University of California, Irvine.   He was director of the Latin American and Hispanic Studies Program (LAHSP) in the Elliott School of International Affairs (ESIA) at GWU from 1987-1994 and 2006-2007.

Dr. Klarén has written four books on Peruvian and Latin American history, the most notable being Peru: Society and Nationhood in the Andes (Oxford University Press, 2000) that was also translated into Spanish (20070 and is in its 7th printing from the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos (2017) in Lima.  In addition, his La formación de las Haciendas Azucareras y orígenes del APRA was republished in a 3rd edition in the CLASICOS series of the IEP(2017).   His most recent book is a Historical Dictionary of Peru (Roman and Littlefield Press, 2017).  Dr. Klarén was also a contributor to the prestigious Cambridge History of Latin America (1986).