Roger Atwood writes about culture, politics and art for a wide variety of publications, mostly in North America but also in Europe and Latin America. He's a Contributing Editor for Archaeology and a Correspondent for ARTnews. Two of his articles have been listed as notable articles in the Best American Science and Nature Writing anthologies. Though a U.S. citizen, he has done most of his work outside the United States and currently lives in Britain.
Roger was born in Boston and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Massachusetts in 1984 with a major in history. He later earned a Masters in International Public Policy from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
His career began in Argentina as an announcer and translator at Radiodifusión Argentina al Exterior, the overseas short-wave radio service of the Argentine government, from 1984 to 1985. Later, he worked at the Buenos Aires Herald and United Press International before joining the news agency Reuters in 1986 as a correspondent in its Buenos Aires bureau. Reuters transferred him to Rio de Janeiro and then Lima, a post in which he covered the Shining Path war and began a long association with Peru. He was an editor at Reuters in New York and worked briefly in its Wall Street bureau before serving as bureau chief in Santiago, Chile, from 1994 to 1997. While based in Chile, he travelled to the Palmer scientific base in Antarctica as a U.S. National Science Foundation visiting journalist, leading to a six-part series for Reuters on Antarctic ecology and exploration.
In 1997, Roger became an editor in the Washington office of Reuters, where he worked on coverage of the Clinton impeachment and the September 11 attacks. He began writing for national magazines and newspapers on subjects that he loved but had been unable to explore in a sustained way: art, archaeology and museums. In 2002, after leaving Reuters with a fond farewell and a voluntary buyout package, he took a fellowship with the Alicia Patterson Fellowship to write about the global trade in looted antiquities.
The fellowship led to a book, Stealing History: Tomb Raiders, Smugglers, and the Looting of the Ancient World, published by St. Martin's Press in December 2004 and going paperback in 2006. The book used the history of pillage in Peru as a case study to explore how the illicit antiquities trade had degraded the world's historical record. The book won positive reviews in popular and scholarly publications and was made into a History Channel documentary. Parts of Stealing History appeared before publication in ARTnews, Mother Jones and Archaeology and post-publication in translation in the Colombian magazine Gatopardo. Translation rights were sold for two other languages, and the book has been used widely as a university text.
Roger wrote the introduction to Mario Silva's brilliant photography book on Peruvian public art and architecture, Lords, Pyramids and Replicas. In 2005, Roger taught journalism at the Central Universit y of Venezuela and at several newspapers in that country as a Knight International Press Fellow. Later he was a visiting researcher at Georgetown University's Center for Latin American Studies and, until late 2008, the Communications Director at the Washington Office on Latin America, the human rights research and advocacy group. He covered arts and museums for Bloomberg news agency in Washington in 2006-07.
Roger has written hundreds of articles for newspapers, journals and magazines and interviewed more than a dozen world leaders, including Benazir Bhutto, Alberto Fujimori and Fernando Henrique Cardoso. He has spoken at museums, universities and symposia around the world, most recently at the Latin American Studies Association conference in Rio de Janeiro, in June 2009.
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