Year of Publication

2011

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Hispanic Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Susan Carvalho

Abstract

The urban landscapes of Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay lay bare the markings of these countries‘ turbulent political and economic pasts, their transition to democracy, and diverse efforts to preserve memory. Claudia Feld‘s observation that these countries have experienced a 'memory boom‘—not a deficit—in recent years manifests itself as much culturally and politically as it does spatially, through the creation of memorials, memory parks, museums, and memory-related performances and discourses. Along these same lines, narratives of memory recur among artistic and cultural works of the post-dictatorial Southern Cone—not exclusively among memorials and other designated sites of recollection, but along the everyday corridors and causeways of some of South America‘s most populous cities, and rather unexpectedly, among seemingly generic sites of consumerism and transit. In fact, my reading of literary and cinematic works by Alberto Fuguet, Sergio Chejfec, Ignacio Agüero, and Fabián Bielinsky, and my examination of Uruguay‘s Punta Carretas Shopping Center, suggests that memory has not been easily corralled into designated sites nor erased through modern spaces and lifestyles; instead, each of the works analyzed in this study reveals that palimpsests of memory can appear often and, in many cases, spontaneously among all angles of the cityscape.

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