Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Dean, Education and Teaching, Bard College

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2004
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Literature, Princeton University
Family Narratives and National Reconstruction in Argentina and South Africa, 1993-2003

My project will examine how and why narratives about family relationships and family history have become a critical space for the processes of societal reconciliation in contemporary Argentine and South African literature, theater and film. By analyzing a series of texts that focus on the reconstitution of family in the wake of state violence--texts written about or by children of the disappeared in Argentina and about children metaphorically orphaned by the legal violence of Apartheid in South Africa--1 hope to mark a mode of resistance to the new official stories that are being used as a method of national reconstruction or creating a "new nation." Particularly, I am concerned with (1) how the process of narrating the family in different genres dislocates the definitions of family roles normalized during the era of Apartheid and the Dirty War, and (2) how the new forms of family that are generated in recent texts and performances throw into question not only the nature of memory, but also the relationship between memory, family and national history that has been forwarded by official discourses of truth and reconciliation.