front cover of Afterlives of Confinement
Afterlives of Confinement
Spatial Transitions in Postdictatorship Latin America
Susana Draper
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012
During the age of dictatorships, Latin American prisons became a symbol for the vanquishing of political opponents, many of whom were never seen again. In the postdictatorship era of the 1990s, a number of these prisons were repurposed into shopping malls, museums, and memorials. Susana Draper uses the phenomenon of the “opening” of prisons and detention centers to begin a dialog on conceptualizations of democracy and freedom in post-dictatorship Latin America. Focusing on the Southern Cone nations of Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina, Draper examines key works in architecture, film, and literature to peel away the veiled continuity of dictatorial power structures in ensuing consumer cultures.

The afterlife of prisons became an important tool in the “forgetting” of past politics, while also serving as a reminder to citizens of the liberties they now enjoyed. In Draper’s analysis, these symbols led the populace to believe they had attained freedom, although they had only witnessed the veneer of democracy—in the ability to vote and consume.

In selected literary works by Roberto Bolaño, Eleuterio Fernández Huidoboro, and Diamela Eltit and films by Alejandro Agresti and Marco Bechis, Draper finds further evidence of the emptiness and melancholy of underachieved goals in the afterlife of dictatorships. The social changes that did not occur, the inability to effectively mourn the losses of a now-hidden past, the homogenizing effects of market economies, and a yearning for the promises of true freedom are thematic currents underlying much of these texts.

Draper’s study of the manipulation of culture and consumerism under the guise of democracy will have powerful implications not only for Latin Americanists but also for those studying neoliberal transformations globally.
[more]

front cover of Brazilian Art under Dictatorship
Brazilian Art under Dictatorship
Antonio Manuel, Artur Barrio, and Cildo Meireles
Claudia Calirman
Duke University Press, 2012
Brazilian Art under Dictatorship is a sophisticated analysis of the intersection of politics and the visual arts during the most repressive years of Brazil's military regime, from 1968 until 1975. Raised in Rio de Janeiro during the dictatorship, the curator and art historian Claudia Calirman describes how Brazilian visual artists addressed the political situation and opened up the local art scene to new international trends. Focusing on innovative art forms infused with a political undertone, Calirman emphasizes the desire among Brazilian artists to reconcile new modes of art making with a concern for local politics. Ephemeral works, such as performance art, media-based art, and conceptualism, were well suited to the evasion of censorship and persecution. Calirman examines the work and careers of three major artists of the period, Antonio Manuel, Artur Barrio, and Cildo Meireles. She explores the ways that they negotiated the competing demands of Brazilian politics and the international art scene, the efficacy of their political critiques, and their impact on Brazilian art and culture. Calirman suggests that the art of the late 1960s and early 1970s represented not just the artists' concerns with politics, but also their anxieties about overstepping the boundaries of artistic expression.
[more]

front cover of Brazilian Women's Filmmaking
Brazilian Women's Filmmaking
From Dictatorship to Democracy
Leslie Marsh
University of Illinois Press, 2012

At most recent count, there are no fewer than forty-five women in Brazil directing or codirecting feature-length fiction or documentary films. In the early 1990s, women filmmakers in Brazil were credited for being at the forefront of the rebirth of filmmaking, or retomada, after the abolition of the state film agency and subsequent standstill of film production. Despite their numbers and success, films by Brazilian women directors are generally absent from discussions of Latin American film and published scholarly works.

 
Filling this void, Brazilian Women's Filmmaking focuses on women's film production in Brazil from the mid-1970s to the current era. Leslie L. Marsh explains how women's filmmaking contributed to the reformulation of sexual, cultural, and political citizenship during Brazil's fight for the return and expansion of civil rights during the 1970s and 1980s and the recent questioning of the quality of democracy in the 1990s and 2000s. She interprets key films by Ana Carolina and Tizuka Yamasaki, documentaries with social themes, and independent videos supported by archival research and extensive interviews with Brazilian women filmmakers. Despite changes in production contexts, recent Brazilian women's films have furthered feminist debates regarding citizenship while raising concerns about the quality of the emergent democracy. Brazilian Women's Filmmaking offers a unique view of how women's audiovisual production has intersected with the reconfigurations of gender and female sexuality put forth by the women's movements in Brazil and continuing demands for greater social, cultural, and political inclusion.
[more]

front cover of Captives of Revolution
Captives of Revolution
The Socialist Revolutionaries and the Bolshevik Dictatorship, 1918–1923
Scott B. Smith
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011

The Socialist Revolutionaries (SRs) were the largest political party in Russia in the crucial revolutionary year of 1917.  Heirs to the legacy of the People’s Will movement, the SRs were unabashed proponents of peasant rebellion and revolutionary terror, emphasizing the socialist transformation of the countryside and a democratic system of government as their political goals. They offered a compelling, but still socialist, alternative to the Bolsheviks, yet by the early 1920s their party was shattered and its members were branded as enemies of the revolution.  In 1922, the SR leaders became the first fellow socialists to be condemned by the Bolsheviks as “counter-revolutionaries” in the prototypical Soviet show trial.
      In Captives of the Revolution, Scott B. Smith presents both a convincing account of the defeat of the SRs and a deeper analysis of the significance of the political dynamics of the Civil War for subsequent Soviet history.  Once the SRs decided to openly fight the Bolsheviks in 1918, they faced a series of nearly impossible political dilemmas.  At the same time, the Bolsheviks fatally undermined the revolutionary credentials of the SRs by successfully appropriating the rhetoric of class struggle, painting a simplistic picture of Reds versus Whites in the Civil War, a rhetorical dominance that they converted into victory over the SRs and any left-wing alternative to Bolshevik dictatorship.  In this narrative, the SRs became a bona fide threat to national security and enemies of the people—a characterization that proved so successful that it became an archetype to be used repeatedly by the Soviet leadership against any political opponents, even those from within the Bolshevik party itself.  
      In this groundbreaking study, Smith reveals a more complex and nuanced picture of the postrevolutionary struggle for power in Russia than we have ever seen before and demonstrates that the Civil War—and in particular the struggle with the SRs—was the formative experience of the Bolshevik party and the Soviet state.
 

[more]

front cover of Civil Obedience
Civil Obedience
Complicity and Complacency in Chile since Pinochet
Michael J. Lazzara
University of Wisconsin Press, 2020
Since the fall of General Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship in 1990, Chilean society has shied away from the subject of civilian complicity, preferring to pursue convictions of military perpetrators. But the torture, murders, deportations, and disappearances of tens of thousands of people in Chile were not carried out by the military alone; they required a vast civilian network. Some citizens actively participated in the regime's massive violations of human rights for personal gain or out of a sense of patriotic duty. Others supported Pinochet's neoliberal economic program while turning a blind eye to the crimes of that era.

Michael J. Lazzara boldly argues that today's Chile is a product of both complicity and complacency. Combining historical analysis with deft literary, political, and cultural critique, he scrutinizes the post-Pinochet rationalizations made by politicians, artists, intellectuals, bystanders, former revolutionaries-turned-neoliberals, and common citizens. He looks beyond victims and perpetrators to unveil the ambiguous, ethically vexed realms of memory and experience that authoritarian regimes inevitably generate.
[more]

front cover of Civil Society and Dictatorship in Modern German History
Civil Society and Dictatorship in Modern German History
Jürgen Kocka
Brandeis University Press, 2010
In this rich and thought-provoking work, Jürgen Kocka focuses his analytic lens on Germany’s long twentieth century, from the empire to the present. He begins by establishing the semantic problematic in the German term Bürgertum and presenting an analytical survey of German civil society over the past 120 years. He then offers a fascinating social history of the GDR, along with a comparative analysis of the East German dictatorship and that of the Third Reich. He further compares Germany’s “two dictatorships” in regard to historical memory, post-regime justice, and historiography before and after reunification. Kocka concludes with a wonderfully expansive view of historical interpretation and even argues for the place of trendiness and fashion in the profession.
[more]

front cover of Cuba’s Revolutionary World
Cuba’s Revolutionary World
Jonathan C. Brown
Harvard University Press, 2017

On January 2, 1959, Fidel Castro, the rebel comandante who had just overthrown Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, addressed a crowd of jubilant supporters. Recalling the failed popular uprisings of past decades, Castro assured them that this time “the real Revolution” had arrived. As Jonathan Brown shows in this capacious history of the Cuban Revolution, Castro’s words proved prophetic not only for his countrymen but for Latin America and the wider world.

Cuba’s Revolutionary World examines in forensic detail how the turmoil that rocked a small Caribbean nation in the 1950s became one of the twentieth century’s most transformative events. Initially, Castro’s revolution augured well for democratic reform movements gaining traction in Latin America. But what had begun promisingly veered off course as Castro took a heavy hand in efforts to centralize Cuba’s economy and stamp out private enterprise. Embracing the Soviet Union as an ally, Castro and his lieutenant Che Guevara sought to export the socialist revolution abroad through armed insurrection.

Castro’s provocations inspired intense opposition. Cuban anticommunists who had fled to Miami found a patron in the CIA, which actively supported their efforts to topple Castro’s regime. The unrest fomented by Cuban-trained leftist guerrillas lent support to Latin America’s military castes, who promised to restore stability. Brazil was the first to succumb to a coup in 1964; a decade later, military juntas governed most Latin American states. Thus did a revolution that had seemed to signal the death knell of dictatorship in Latin America bring about its tragic opposite.

[more]

front cover of Democracy, Dictatorship, and Term Limits
Democracy, Dictatorship, and Term Limits
Alexander Baturo
University of Michigan Press, 2014

A national constitution or other statute typically specifies restrictions on executive power, often including a limit to the number of terms the chief executive may hold office. In recent decades, however, some presidents of newly established democracies have extended their tenure by various semilegal means, thereby raising the specter—and in some cases creating the reality—of dictatorship.

Alexander Baturo tracks adherence to and defiance of presidential term limits in all types of regimes (not only democratic regimes) around the world since 1960. Drawing on original data collection and fieldwork to investigate the factors that encourage playing by or manipulating the rules, he asks what is at stake for the chief executive if he relinquishes office. Baturo finds that the income-generating capacity of political office in states where rent-seeking is prevalent, as well as concerns over future immunity and status, determines whether or not an executive attempts to retain power beyond the mandated period. Democracy, Dictatorship, and Term Limits will appeal to scholars of democratization and executive power and also to political theorists.

[more]

front cover of Depositions
Depositions
Roberto Burle Marx and Public Landscapes under Dictatorship
By Catherine Seavitt Nordenson
University of Texas Press, 2018

Recipient of 2019 John Brinckerhoff Jackson Book Prize, Foundation for Landscape Studies
2021 On the Brinck Book Award Winner

“Burle Marx created a new and modern grammar for international landscape design.”
—Lauro Cavalcanti, quoted in the New York Times

“The real creator of the modern garden.”
—American Institute of Architects

Presenting the first English translation of Burle Marx’s “depositions,” this volume highlights the environmental advocacy of a preeminent Brazilian landscape architect who advised and challenged the country’s military dictatorship.

Roberto Burle Marx (1909–1994) is internationally known as one of the preeminent modernist landscape architects. He designed renowned public landscapes in Brazil, beginning with small plazas in Recife in the 1930s and culminating with large public parks in the early 1960s, most significantly the Parque do Flamengo in Rio de Janeiro. Depositions explores a pivotal moment in Burle Marx’s career—the years in which he served as a member of the Federal Cultural Council created by the military dictatorship in the mid-1960s. Despite the inherent conflict and risk in working with the military regime, Burle Marx boldly used his position to advocate for the protection of the unique Brazilian landscape, becoming a prophetic voice of caution against the regime’s policies of rapid development and resource exploitation.

Depositions presents the first English translation of eighteen environmental position pieces that Burle Marx wrote for the journal Cultura , a publication of the Brazilian Ministry of Education and Culture, from 1967 through 1973. Catherine Seavitt Nordenson introduces and contextualizes the depositions by analyzing their historical and political contexts, as well as by presenting pertinent examples of Burle Marx’s earlier public projects, which enables a comprehensive reading of the texts. Addressing deforestation, the establishment of national parks, the place of commemorative sculpture, and the unique history of the Brazilian cultural landscape, Depositions offers new insight into Burle Marx’s outstanding landscape oeuvre and elucidates his transition from prolific designer to prescient counselor.

[more]

front cover of The Dictator's Dilemma at the Ballot Box
The Dictator's Dilemma at the Ballot Box
Electoral Manipulation, Economic Maneuvering, and Political Order in Autocracies
Masaaki Higashijima
University of Michigan Press, 2022

Contrary to our stereotypical views, dictators often introduce elections in which they refrain from employing blatant electoral fraud. Why do electoral reforms happen in autocracies? Do these elections destabilize autocratic rule? The Dictator’s Dilemma at the Ballot Box argues that strong autocrats who can garner popular support become less dependent on coercive electioneering strategies. When autocrats fail to design elections properly, elections backfire in the form of coups, protests, and the opposition’s stunning election victories. The book’s theoretical implications are tested on a battery of cross-national analyses with newly collected data on autocratic elections and in-depth comparative case studies of the two Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

[more]

front cover of Dictatorship and Demand
Dictatorship and Demand
Mark Landsman
Harvard University Press, 2005

An investigation into the politics of consumerism in East Germany during the years between the Berlin Blockade of 1948-49 and the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961, Dictatorship and Demand shows how the issue of consumption constituted a crucial battleground in the larger Cold War struggle.

Based on research in recently opened East German state and party archives, this book depicts a regime caught between competing pressures. While East Germany's leaders followed a Soviet model, which fetishized productivity in heavy industry and prioritized the production of capital goods over consumer goods, they nevertheless had to contend with the growing allure of consumer abundance in West Germany. The usual difficulties associated with satisfying consumer demand in a socialist economy acquired a uniquely heightened political urgency, as millions of East Germans fled across the open border.

A new vision of the East-West conflict emerges, one fought as much with washing machines, televisions, and high fashion as with political propaganda, espionage, and nuclear weapons. Dictatorship and Demand deepens our understanding of the Cold War.

[more]

logo for University of Minnesota Press
Dictatorship in the Modern World
Guy Ford
University of Minnesota Press, 1935
Dictatorship in the Modern World was first published in 1935. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.“The wisdom of the ages turned on the problem of the hour,” says Charles A. Beard of this thoughtful and thought-provoking volume. Fourteen scholars, American and European, under the guidance of the president of a great university (himself a distinguished historian) have cooperated to provide a cool and dispassionate survey such as only the historical approach can give. Here is a world view, a balanced presentation, covering more aspects of the problem of dictatorship than have been brought together in any other single volume.
[more]

front cover of A Dictatorship of Relativism ?
A Dictatorship of Relativism ?
Symposium in Response to Cardinal Ratzinger’s Last Homily, Volume 13
Jeffrey M. Perl, ed.
Duke University Press
In the last homily he gave before becoming Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger described modern life as ruled by a “dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely” of satisfying “the desires of one’s own ego.” An eminent scholar familiar with the centuries-old debates over relativism, Ratzinger chose to oversimplify or even caricature a philosophical approach of great sophistication and antiquity. His homily depicts the relativist as someone blown about “by every wind of doctrine,” whereas the relativist sticks firmly to one argument—that human knowledge is not absolute. Gathering prominent intellectuals from disciplines most relevant to the controversy—ethics, theology, political theory, anthropology, psychology, cultural studies, epistemology, philosophy of science, and classics—this special double issue of Common Knowledge contests Ratzinger’s denunciation of relativism.

One essay relates the arguments of Ratzinger to those of two other German scholars—the conservative political theorist Ernst Wolfgang Böckenförde and the liberal philosopher and sociologist Jürgen Habermas—since all three men assume that social order depends on the existence of doctrinal authority (divine or otherwise). The contributors here argue for an intellectual and social life free of the desire for an “infantilizing” authority. One proposes that the Christian god is a relativist who prefers limitation and ambiguity; another, initially in agreement with Ratzinger about the danger relativism poses to faith and morals, then argues that this danger is what makes relativism valuable. The issue closes with the first English translation of an extract from a book on Catholic-Jewish relations by Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, one of the Catholic Church’s most progressive figures.

Contributors. David Bloor, Daniel Boyarin, Mary Baine Campbell, Lorraine Daston, Arnold I. Davidson, John Forrester, Kenneth J. Gergen, Simon Goldhill, Jeffrey F. Hamburger, Julia Kristeva, Carlo Maria Cardinal Martini, Christopher Norris, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Richard Shusterman, Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Jeffrey Stout, Gianni Vattimo

[more]

front cover of Dissensual Subjects
Dissensual Subjects
Memory, Human Rights, and Postdictatorship in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay
Andrew C. Rajca
Northwestern University Press, 2018
In Dissensual Subjects, Andrew C. Rajca combines cultural studies and critical theory to explore how the aftereffects of dictatorship have been used to formulate dominant notions of human rights in the present. In so doing, he critiques the exclusionary nature of these processes and highlights who and what count (and do not count) as subjects of human rights as a result.

Through an engaging exploration of the concept of “never again” (nunca más/nunca mais) and close analysis of photography exhibits, audiovisual installations, and other art forms in spaces of cultural memory, the book explores how aesthetic interventions can suggest alternative ways of framing human rights subjectivity beyond the rhetoric of liberal humanitarianism. The book visits sites of memory, two of which functioned as detention and torture centers during dictatorships, to highlight the tensions between the testimonial tenor of permanent exhibits and the aesthetic interventions of temporary installations there. Rajca thus introduces perspectives that both undo common understandings of authoritarian violence and its effects as well as reconfigure who or what are made visible as subjects of memory and human rights in postdictatorship countries.

Dissensual Subjects offers much to those concerned with numerous interlocking fields: memory, human rights, political subjectivity, aesthetics, cultural studies, visual culture, Southern Cone studies, postdictatorship studies, and sites of memory.
 
[more]

front cover of Economic Reforms in Chile
Economic Reforms in Chile
From Dictatorship to Democracy
Ricardo Ffrench-Davis
University of Michigan Press, 2002
Articulate and provocative, Richardo Ffrench-Davis offers the most comprehensive and timely assessment available of Chilean economic reform, from the military dictatorship of Pinochet in the 1970s up to the "reforms of reforms" made by the democratic governments in the 1990s.
Written in accessible and readable prose, Economic Reforms in Chile begins with an overview of the Chilean economy during the last fifty years. This historical time frame is divided into three periods of economic reform. The first period covers the Pinochet regime, during which the more orthodox neoliberalism was implemented. The second period includes the Pinochet dictatorship, during which economic policy shifted toward pragmatism, particularly in the areas of trade and finance; it also includes the crisis of 1982 and its effects. The third period begins in 1990 with the return to democratic elections and the significant reforms to prior reforms. This section also examines the search for growth-with-equity, success in investment and growth performance, macroeconomic sustainability, and the reduction of poverty. Ffrench-Davis addresses several "paradoxes," or results that defy the expectations of policymakers, in order to analyze the significance of comprehensive macroeconomic equilibrium and its implications for sustainable stability, growth, and equity.
Economic Reforms in Chile will be of interest to economists, political scientists, and policymakers involved with the economies of emerging and developing countries.
Ricardo Ffrench-Davis is Principal Regional Advisor, ECLAC, Santiago, and Professor of Economics, University of Chile.
[more]

logo for University of Pittsburgh Press
Foucault in Brazil
Dictatorship, Resistance, and Solidarity
Marcelo Hoffman
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2024
Philosopher Michel Foucault’s cultural criticism crosses disciplines and is well known as an influence on modern conceptions of knowledge and power. Less well known are the five trips he took to Brazil between 1965 and 1976. Although a coup in 1964 had installed a military dictatorship, Foucault kept his opinion on the Brazilian government largely to himself until October 23, 1975. On that date, he delivered a manifesto at a student assembly in São Paulo expressing his solidarity with students and professors protesting a wave of arrests and torture. This manifesto caught the government’s attention and became the focal point of the dictatorship’s surveillance of Foucault. Foucault in Brazil explores the production of the public antagonism between the philosopher and the dictatorship through a meticulous consideration of each of his visits to Brazil. Marcelo Hoffman connects history, philosophy, and political theory to open new ways of thinking about Foucault as a person and thinker and about Brazil and authoritarianism. 
[more]

front cover of Freedom Sun in the Tropics
Freedom Sun in the Tropics
Ana Maria Machado, Translated by Renata R. M. Wasserman
Tagus Press, 2020
Based upon the author's own experiences of life, exile, and return under the dictatorship that gripped Brazil in the 1960s and 1970s, Freedom Sun in the Tropics follows Lena, a journalist, as she resists violence and political repression, and decides to flee to Paris. Upon her eventual return, Lena soon discovers that the dictatorship's prison walls have enclosed private lives and hold strong even after the collapse of authoritarianism. With friendship, truth, and family broken, she struggles to make the difficult return to freedom and regain a sense of life—and simple decency—on the other side of trauma. Originally published in 1988, Ana Maria Machado's novel vividly captures one of the darkest periods in recent Brazilian history.
[more]

front cover of Hard Times in the Marvelous City
Hard Times in the Marvelous City
From Dictatorship to Democracy in the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro
Bryan McCann
Duke University Press, 2013
Beginning in the late 1970s, activists from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro challenged the conditions—such as limited access to security, sanitation, public education, and formal employment—that separated favela residents from Rio's other citizens. The activists built a movement that helped to push the nation toward redemocratization. They joined with political allies in an effort to institute an ambitious slate of municipal reforms. Those measures ultimately fell short of aspirations, and soon the reformers were struggling to hold together a fraying coalition. Rio was bankrupted by natural disasters and hyperinflation and ravaged by drug wars. Well-armed drug traffickers had become the new lords of the favelas, protecting their turf through violence and patronage. By the early 1990s, the promise of the favela residents' mobilization of the late 1970s and early 1980s seemed out of reach. Yet the aspirations that fueled that mobilization have endured, and its legacy continues to shape favela politics in Rio de Janeiro.
[more]

front cover of Intermittences
Intermittences
Memory, Justice, and the Poetics of the Visible in Uruguay
Ana Forcinito
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018
The construction of memory entails a battle not only between memory and forgetting but also between different memories. There are multiple constructions of memory, and in the dispute between them, some become hegemonic, while others remain in the margins. Ana Forcinito explores the intermittences of transitional justice and memory in post-dictatorship Uruguay. The processes of building memory and transitional justice are repetitive but inconstant. They are contested by both internal and external forces and shaped by tensions between oblivion and silence. Forcinito explores models of reconciliation to present an alternative narrative of the past and to expose the blind spots of memory.
 
[more]

front cover of An Introduction to the Literature of Equatorial Guinea
An Introduction to the Literature of Equatorial Guinea
Between Colonialism and Dictatorship
Marvin A. Lewis
University of Missouri Press, 2007

Spain’s only former colony in sub-Saharan Africa, Equatorial Guinea is home to a literature of transition—songs of freedom in which authors reflect on their identity within the context of recent colonialism and dictatorship.

            An Introduction to the Literature of Equatorial Guinea is the first book-length critical study of this literature, a multigenre analysis encompassing fifty years of poetry, drama, essays, and prose fiction. Both resident and exiled authors offer insights into the impact of colonialism and dictatorship under Spanish rule and consider the fruits of “independence” under the regimes of Francisco Macías Nguema and Teodoro Obiang Nguema. Examining these works from the perspective of postcolonial theory, Marvin A. Lewis shows how writings from Equatorial Guinea depict the clash of traditional and European cultures and reflect a dictatorship that produced poverty, misery, and oppression. He assesses with particular care the impact of the Macías reafricanization process and its manifestations in literature.

In showing how the views of the nation correspond and diverge in works of writers such as Maria Nsue Angue, Donato Ndongo-Bidyogo, and Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel, Lewis brings to light artists who articulate their concerns in Spanish but are African in their souls. In analyzing the works of both renowned and emerging writers, he marks the themes that contribute to the formation of national identity: Hispanic heritage, the myth of Bantu unity, “bonding in adversity” during the Nguema regime, and the Equatoguinean diaspora.

            Lewis provides an accessible introduction to the work of central writers in a new area of literary study and includes the most exhaustive and up-to-date bibliography available on the subject. His is a groundbreaking work that broadens our understanding of African literature and will be the bedrock for future studies of this Hispanic corner of Africa.

[more]

front cover of LGBTQ Politics in Nicaragua
LGBTQ Politics in Nicaragua
Revolution, Dictatorship, and Social Movements
Karen Kampwirth
University of Arizona Press, 2022
The modern political tumult of Nicaragua includes revolution, dictatorship, and social movements. LGBTQ Politics in Nicaragua explores the untold stories of the LGBTQ community of Nicaragua and its role in the recent political history of the country.

Karen Kampwirth is a renowned scholar of the Nicaraguan Revolution, who has been writing at the intersection of gender and politics for decades. In this chronological telling of the last fifty years of political history in Nicaragua, Kampwirth deploys a critical new lens: understanding politics from the perspective of the country’s LGBTQ community. Kampwirth details the gay and lesbian guerrillas in the 1960s and 1970s, Nicaragua’s first openly gay television wizard in the 1980s, and the attempts by LGBTQ revolutionaries to create a civil rights movement and the subsequent squashing of that movement by the ruling Sandinista party. She analyzes the shifting political alliances, the rise of strong feminist and LGBTQ movements in Nicaragua, and the attempts by the administration of Daniel Ortega to co-opt and control these movements.

Ultimately, this is a story of struggle and defeat, progress and joy. This timely book provides a well-documented review of LGBTQ politics in modern Nicaragua, helping us to see the Sandinista Revolution and its ongoing aftermath in a new light.
 
[more]

front cover of Memory’s Turn
Memory’s Turn
Reckoning with Dictatorship in Brazil
Rebecca J. Atencio
University of Wisconsin Press, 2014
After twenty-one years of military dictatorship, Brazil returned to democratic rule in 1985. Yet over the following two decades, the country largely ignored human rights crimes committed by state security agents, crimes that included the torture, murder, and disappearance of those who opposed the authoritarian regime.
            In clear and engaging prose, Rebecca J. Atencio tells the story of the slow turn to memory in Brazil, a turn that has taken place in both politics and in cultural production. She shows how testimonial literature, telenovelas, literary novels, theatrical plays, and memorials have interacted with policies adopted by the Brazilian state, often in unexpected ways. Under the right circumstances, official and cultural forms of reckoning combine in Brazil to produce what Atencio calls cycles of cultural memory. Novel meanings of the past are forged, and new cultural works are inspired, thus creating the possibility for further turns in the cycle.
            The first book to analyze Brazil’s reckoning with dictatorship through both institutional and cultural means, Memory’s Turn is a rich, informative exploration of the interplay between these different modes of memory reconstruction.

Winner, Alfred B. Thomas Award, Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies

Honorable Mention, Roberto Reis Book Prize, Brazilian Studies Association
[more]

front cover of Opposing Power
Opposing Power
Building Opposition Alliances in Electoral Autocracies
Elvin Ong
University of Michigan Press, 2022
Opposing Power argues that perceptions of regime vulnerability and mutual dependency by opposition elites shape the building of opposition alliances. When electoral autocracies are consistently dominant, opposition parties eschew fully fledged alliances. At best, they allocate only one candidate to contest against the incumbent in each subnational electoral district to avoid splitting the opposition vote. However, when multiple regime-debilitating events strike within a short period of time, thus pushing an incumbent to the precipice of power, opposition elites expect victory, accepting costly compromises to build alliances and seize power. Opposing Power shows how oppositions build these alliances through case study comparisons in East and Southeast Asia—between the Philippines and South Korea in the late 1980s, and between Malaysia and Singapore from 1965 to 2020.
[more]

front cover of Paper Cadavers
Paper Cadavers
The Archives of Dictatorship in Guatemala
Kirsten Weld
Duke University Press, 2014
In Paper Cadavers, an inside account of the astonishing discovery and rescue of Guatemala's secret police archives, Kirsten Weld probes the politics of memory, the wages of the Cold War, and the stakes of historical knowledge production. After Guatemala's bloody thirty-six years of civil war (1960–1996), silence and impunity reigned. That is, until 2005, when human rights investigators stumbled on the archives of the country's National Police, which, at 75 million pages, proved to be the largest trove of secret state records ever found in Latin America.

The unearthing of the archives renewed fierce debates about history, memory, and justice. In Paper Cadavers, Weld explores Guatemala's struggles to manage this avalanche of evidence of past war crimes, providing a firsthand look at how postwar justice activists worked to reconfigure terror archives into implements of social change. Tracing the history of the police files as they were transformed from weapons of counterinsurgency into tools for post-conflict reckoning, Weld sheds light on the country's fraught transition from war to an uneasy peace, reflecting on how societies forget and remember political violence.

[more]

front cover of The People's Own Landscape
The People's Own Landscape
Nature, Tourism, and Dictatorship in East Germany
Scott Moranda
University of Michigan Press, 2014

East Germany’s Socialist Unity Party aimed to placate a public well aware of the higher standards of living enjoyed elsewhere by encouraging them to participate in outdoor activities and take vacations in the countryside. Scott Moranda considers East Germany’s rural landscapes from the perspective of both technical experts (landscape architects, biologists, and physicians) who hoped to dictate how vacationers interacted with nature, and the vacationers themselves, whose outdoor experience shaped their understanding of environmental change. As authorities eliminated traditional tourist and nature conservation organizations, dissident conservationists demanded better protection of natural spaces. At the same time, many East Germans shared their government’s expectations for economic development that had real consequences for the land. By the 1980s, environmentalists saw themselves as outsiders struggling against the state and a public that had embraced mainstream ideas about limitless economic growth and material pleasures.

[more]

front cover of Politics in Uniform
Politics in Uniform
Military Officers and Dictatorship in Brazil, 1960-80
Maud Chirio
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018
Between 1964 and 1985, Brazil lived under the control of a repressive, anticommunist regime, where generals maintained all power. Respect for discipline and the absence of any and all political activity was demanded of lower-ranking officers, while their commanders ran the highest functions of state. Despite these circumstances, dozens of young captains, majors, and colonels believed that they too deserved to participate in the exercise of power. For two decades they carried on a clandestine political life that strongly influenced the regime's evolution. This book tells their story. It is history viewed from below, that pays attention to the origins of these actors, their career paths, their words, and their memories, as recounted not only in traditionally available material but also in numerous personal interviews and unpublished civilian and military archives. This behind-the-scenes political life presents a new perspective on the nature and the internal operations of the Brazilian dictatorial military state.

This book is a translation, with expanded material for English-language readers, of Maud Chirio's original Portuguese-language work, A política nos quartéis: Revoltas e protestos de oficiais na ditadura militar brasileira, which was awarded the Thomas E. Skidmore Prize by the Brazilian National Archives and Brazilian Studies Association.
 
[more]

front cover of Postcolonial Configurations
Postcolonial Configurations
Dictatorship, the Racial Cold War, and Filipino America
Josen Masangkay Diaz
Duke University Press, 2023
In Postcolonial Configurations Josen Masangkay Diaz examines the making of Filipino America through the dynamics of dictatorship, coloniality, and subjectivity. Diaz explores how the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship and US policies during the Cold War that supported the regime defined the relationship between “Filipino” and “America” in ways that influenced the creation of a gendered and racialized Filipino American subject. By analyzing Philippine-US state programs for military operations, labor and immigration reform, and development and modernization plans, she shows how anticommunist liberalism and authoritarianism shaped the visibility and recognition of new forms of Filipino subjectivity. Tracing the rise of various social formations that emerged under the Marcos regime and US programs for liberal reform, from transnational Filipino and US culture and the immigrant returnee to the New Filipina woman and the humanitarian English teacher, Diaz positions literature, film, periodicals, and other cultural texts against official state records in ways that reconceptualize the meanings of Filipino America in the Cold War.
[more]

front cover of Roman Voting Assemblies
Roman Voting Assemblies
From the Hannibalic War to the Dictatorship of Caesar
Lily Ross Taylor
University of Michigan Press, 1991
Draws on archaeological evidence to reconstruct voting procedures in the assemblies
[more]

front cover of Ruling Oneself Out
Ruling Oneself Out
A Theory of Collective Abdications
Ivan Ermakoff
Duke University Press, 2008
What induces groups to commit political suicide? This book explores the decisions to surrender power and to legitimate this surrender: collective abdications. Commonsensical explanations impute such actions to coercive pressures, actors’ miscalculations, or their contamination by ideologies at odds with group interests. Ivan Ermakoff argues that these explanations are either incomplete or misleading. Focusing on two paradigmatic cases of voluntary and unconditional surrender of power—the passing of an enabling bill granting Hitler the right to amend the Weimar constitution without parliamentary supervision (March 1933), and the transfer of full executive, legislative, and constitutional powers to Marshal Pétain (Vichy, France, July 1940)—Ruling Oneself Out recasts abdication as the outcome of a process of collective alignment.

Ermakoff distinguishes several mechanisms of alignment in troubled and uncertain times and assesses their significance through a fine-grained examination of actors’ beliefs, shifts in perceptions, and subjective states. To this end, he draws on the analytical and methodological resources of perspectives that usually stand apart: primary historical research, formal decision theory, the phenomenology of group processes, quantitative analyses, and the hermeneutics of testimonies. In elaborating this dialogue across disciplinary boundaries, Ruling Oneself Out restores the complexity and indeterminate character of pivotal collective decisions and demonstrates that an in-depth historical exploration can lay bare processes of crucial importance for understanding the formation of political preferences, the paradox of self-deception, and the makeup of historical events as highly consequential.

[more]

front cover of Spectacular Modernity
Spectacular Modernity
Dictatorship, Space, and Visuality in Venezuela, 1948-1958
Lisa Blackmore
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017
Winner, 2018 LASA Venezuela Section Fernando Coronil Award

In cultural history, the 1950s in Venezuela are commonly celebrated as a golden age of modernity, realized by a booming oil economy, dazzling modernist architecture, and nationwide modernization projects. But this is only half the story. In this path-breaking study, Lisa Blackmore reframes the concept of modernity as a complex cultural formation in which modern aesthetics became deeply entangled with authoritarian politics. Drawing on extensive archival research and presenting a wealth of previously unpublished visual materials, Blackmore revisits the decade-long dictatorship to unearth the spectacles of progress that offset repression and censorship. Analyses of a wide range of case studies—from housing projects to agricultural colonies, urban monuments to official exhibitions, and carnival processions to consumer culture—reveal the manifold apparatuses that mythologized visionary leadership, advocated technocratic development, and presented military rule as the only route to progress. Offering a sharp corrective to depoliticized accounts of the period, Spectacular Modernity instead exposes how Venezuelans were promised a radically transformed landscape in exchange for their democratic freedoms.
[more]

front cover of Trauma, Taboo, and Truth-Telling
Trauma, Taboo, and Truth-Telling
Listening to Silences in Postdictatorship Argentina
Nancy J. Gates-Madsen
University of Wisconsin Press, 2018
Argentina’s repressive 1976–83 dictatorship, during which an estimated thirty thousand people were “disappeared,” prompted the postauthoritarian administrations and human rights groups to encourage public exposure of past crimes and traumas. Truth commissions, trials, and other efforts have aimed to break the silence and give voice to the voiceless. Yet despite these many reckonings, there are still silences, taboos, and unanswerable questions.
            Nancy J. Gates-Madsen reads between the lines of Argentine cultural texts (fiction, drama, testimonial narrative, telenovela, documentary film) to explore the fundamental role of silence—the unsaid—in the expression of trauma. Her careful examination of the interplay between textual and contextual silences illuminates public debate about the meaning of memory in Argentina—which stories are being told and, more important, which are being silenced. The imposition of silence is not limited to the military domain or its apologists, she shows; the human rights community also perpetuates and creates taboos.
[more]

front cover of The Untimely Present
The Untimely Present
Postdictatorial Latin American Fiction and the Task of Mourning
Idelber Avelar
Duke University Press, 1999
The Untimely Present examines the fiction produced in the aftermath of the recent Latin American dictatorships, particularly those in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. Idelber Avelar argues that through their legacy of social trauma and obliteration of history, these military regimes gave rise to unique and revealing practices of mourning that pervade the literature of this region. The theory of postdictatorial writing developed here is informed by a rereading of the links between mourning and mimesis in Plato, Nietzsche’s notion of the untimely, Benjamin’s theory of allegory, and psychoanalytic / deconstructive conceptions of mourning.

Avelar starts by offering new readings of works produced before the dictatorship era, in what is often considered the boom of Latin American fiction. Distancing himself from previous celebratory interpretations, he understands the boom as a manifestation of mourning for literature’s declining aura. Against this background, Avelar offers a reassessment of testimonial forms, social scientific theories of authoritarianism, current transformations undergone by the university, and an analysis of a number of novels by some of today’s foremost Latin American writers—such as Ricardo Piglia, Silviano Santiago, Diamela Eltit, João Gilberto Noll, and Tununa Mercado. Avelar shows how the ‘untimely’ quality of these narratives is related to the position of literature itself, a mode of expression threatened with obsolescence.

This book will appeal to scholars and students of Latin American literature and politics, cultural studies, and comparative literature, as well as to all those interested in the role of literature in postmodernity.

[more]

front cover of The Vanishing Frame
The Vanishing Frame
Latin American Culture and Theory in the Postdictatorial Era
By Eugenio Claudio Di Stefano
University of Texas Press, 2018

In the postdictatorial era, Latin American cultural production and criticism have been defined by a series of assumptions about politics and art—especially the claim that political freedom can be achieved by promoting a more direct experience between the textual subject (often a victim) and the reader by eliminating the division between art and life. The Vanishing Frame argues against this conception of freedom, demonstrating how it is based on a politics of human rights complicit with economic injustices. Presenting a provocative counternarrative, Eugenio Claudio Di Stefano examines literary, visual, and interdisciplinary artists who insist on the autonomy of the work of art in order to think beyond the politics of human rights and neoliberalism in Latin American theory and culture.

Di Stefano demonstrates that while artists such as Diamela Eltit, Ariel Dorfman, and Albertina Carri develop a concept of justice premised on recognizing victims’ experiences of torture or disappearance, they also ignore the injustice of economic inequality and exploitation. By examining how artists such as Roberto Bolaño, Alejandro Zambra, and Fernando Botero not only reject an aesthetics of experience (and the politics it entails) but also insist on the work of art as a point of departure for an anticapitalist politics, this new reading of Latin American cultural production offers an alternative understanding of recent developments in Latin American aesthetics and politics that puts art at its center and the postdictatorship at its end.

[more]

front cover of Voting for Hitler and Stalin
Voting for Hitler and Stalin
Elections under 20th Century Dictatorships
Edited by Ralph Jessen and Hedwig Richter
Campus Verlag, 2011
Dictatorships throughout the twentieth century—including Mussolini’s Italy, the Third Reich, the Soviet Union, Poland, and East Germany—held elections. But were they more than rituals of participation without the slightest effect on the distribution of power? Why did political regimes radically opposed to liberal democracy feel the need to imitate their enemies? Offering significant insights into absolutist state governance, Voting for Hitler and Stalin thoroughly investigates the remarkable, paradoxical phenomenon of dictatorial elections, revealing the many ways they transcended mere propaganda.
[more]

front cover of We Cannot Remain Silent
We Cannot Remain Silent
Opposition to the Brazilian Military Dictatorship in the United States
James N. Green
Duke University Press, 2010
In 1964, Brazil’s democratically elected, left-wing government was ousted in a coup and replaced by a military junta. The Johnson administration quickly recognized the new government. The U.S. press and members of Congress were nearly unanimous in their support of the “revolution” and the coup leaders’ anticommunist agenda. Few Americans were aware of the human rights abuses perpetrated by Brazil’s new regime. By 1969, a small group of academics, clergy, Brazilian exiles, and political activists had begun to educate the American public about the violent repression in Brazil and mobilize opposition to the dictatorship. By 1974, most informed political activists in the United States associated the Brazilian government with its torture chambers. In We Cannot Remain Silent, James N. Green analyzes the U.S. grassroots activities against torture in Brazil, and the ways those efforts helped to create a new discourse about human-rights violations in Latin America. He explains how the campaign against Brazil’s dictatorship laid the groundwork for subsequent U.S. movements against human rights abuses in Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, and Central America.

Green interviewed many of the activists who educated journalists, government officials, and the public about the abuses taking place under the Brazilian dictatorship. Drawing on those interviews and archival research from Brazil and the United States, he describes the creation of a network of activists with international connections, the documentation of systematic torture and repression, and the cultivation of Congressional allies and the press. Those efforts helped to expose the terror of the dictatorship and undermine U.S. support for the regime. Against the background of the political and social changes of the 1960s and 1970s, Green tells the story of a decentralized, international grassroots movement that effectively challenged U.S. foreign policy.

[more]


Send via email Share on Facebook Share on Twitter