Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, History, University of California / Davis

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2010
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, Yale University
Everyday Revolution: Grassroots Movements and the Making of Socialism in Chile, 1960-1973

The southern Chilean province of Concepción, home to students, steelworkers, and coal miners, has a unique history of political activism that cuts across political regimes and world regions. In the 1960s and 1970s, Concepción boasted some of the most radical political and social movements in the country. In telling the story of the convergence of workers and students in Concepción, my dissertation will disclose the everyday revolutionary interactions through which Chileans sought to remake relationships of power and carve out local spaces of meaning. Spanning the thousand days of Salvador Allende’s presidency (1970-1973), the Popular Unity period is one of the most crucial moments in Chilean history. Yet its social history remains to be written. Through archival research and extensive oral history interviews, I will reconstruct the struggles of anonymous activists in Concepción to build a more democratic society. By de-centering attention away from the national and international struggles that culminated in the September 11, 1973 coup, I will reveal how everyday people shaped the course of Chile’s revolution. My dissertation draws from interdisciplinary literatures on memory, social movements, and cultural geography to significantly revise Chilean historiography. Although this is a local history, its significance extends beyond the confines of the Chilean border. Concepción’s radicalism stood out in Chile, but worker and student alliances are not unique in world history. Similar patterns may be found in St. Petersburg in 1917, Paris in 1968, Córdoba (Argentina) 1969, and Tehran in 1979. My study will not only offer a fresh perspective on Chile’s experience of revolution and counterrevolution in the twentieth century, but will also contribute to the study of radical movements globally by foregrounding the local dimension of revolution.