Spain and Latin America's Southern Cone
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: Vanderbilt University Press
Series: Hispanic Issues
Introduction: Consensus and Its Discontents
In Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Spain there is still a debate about whether or not the complex processes that have been called “transitions to democracy” have ended. The growing insistence on the elaboration of historical judgments on those periods, as well as other recent relevant events—such as the death of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet...
Part I: Contesting Power, Forging Commitment
1. Democratic Culture and Transition in Chile
When discussing the Chilean democratic tradition in the years prior to the military coup d’etat, many understood this tradition to be a highly fragile one, having suffered dramatic interruptions, in 1891 for example, when a rebellion by Congress’s conservative majority, in alliance with the navy, toppled the constitutional govermentment of President Balmaceda, or during the instability of the 1920s, which culminated...
2. Writing from the Margins of the Chilean Miracle: Diamela Eltit and the Aesthetics and Politics of the Transition
Author, professor, public intellectual and former performance artist Diamela Eltit has consistently been a voice of critique of the official discourse of the state, be it Pinochet’s military regime or the democratic governments that have followed. Her work reveals a suspicion of the rhetoric of the Transition, with its attendant illusions of egalitarianism...
3. The Riders Get off the Horse: David Vinas and the Demise of the Authoritarian Argentine Military
With the dictatorship of Rosas in the first half of the nineteenth century and the military junta from 1976 to 1982, Argentina experienced the worst two totalitarian military regimes of America. At the same time, and for the same reason, Argentine literature...
4. A Journey through the Desert: Trends of Commitment in Contemporary Spanish Poetry
The Spanish transition to democracy triggered a cultural process that led to a new political framework. In this sense, one can delimit a double transition which not only modified the previous regime but also removed the preceding aesthetic, literary and artistic...
Part II: Interrogating Memories
5. Testimonial Narratives in the Argentine Post-Dictatorship: Survivors, Witnesses, and the Reconstruction of the Past
6. Tejanos: The Uruguayan Transition Beyond
Former detainees have, without any doubt, a central place in the Argentine redemocratization process that started in 1983. Their testimonies have been essential in determining the existence and location of Clandestine Camps, in...
7. Dancing with Destruction: Pop Music during the Spanish Transition
When I was invited to partake in this collection of essays about Post-Authoritarian Spain and the Southern Cone, the first thing that came to mind was how far behind us “the authoritarian period” was in so many respects, and even the post-authoritarian one, often referred to as the “transition to democracy.” Indeed, in Uruguay—as in much...
8. Popular Filmic Narratives and the Spanish Transition
Within any memory there may be, laying in silence, the inextinguishable remains of the forgotten. Thinking about it does not contribute to giving it a voice, nor does it help us acknowledge it. Furthermore, when the collective imaginary, for one reason or another, brings on a series of changes in the public discourse to try and define...
Part III: Looking In/Looking Out: Negotiating Identities
9. Staged Ethnicity, Acted Modernity: Identity and Gender Representations in Spanish Visual Culture (1968-2005)
It is commonplace for contemporary Cultural Studies to address the Spanish transition to democracy’s public representation and visibility in terms of memory and amnesia. Teresa Vilarós has explained in psychoanalytical terms the possibility of the emergence of a mono culture which would assure the repression of any representation of the period...
10. Creating a New Cohesive National Discourse in Spain after Franco
Every new democratic regime that comes after an authoritarian experience has to decide on how to face this episode and how to incorporate it into the national history in order to create a new cohesive national discourse. Countries that have experienced nationalist dictatorships face particular difficulties in doing this due to the monopolization...
11. Intellectuals, Queer Culture, and Post-Military Argentina
The return to constitutional democracy in Argentina in late 1983, seven years after the March 24, 1976, military coup, instituted a particularly draconian version of the neofascism of the period to that country. It also brought with it a call to pursue the injustices of the regime, put the leaders of the various Juntas on trial, and expose, as far as was possible the ideological principles and the practical dynamics of...
12. Some Notes on International Influences on Transition Processes in the Southern Cone
The transition processes in Argentina and Chile date from the 1980s. After more than two decades and having reached stable democracies, it is interesting to retake the subject and check if the international actors have learned some lessons from these experiences as they reflect the Argentinean and Chilean processes in another light. As someone who was an actor in these transitions and is still working in this field..
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