Roundtable on “Human Rights Abuses and the Politics of Memorial Sites in Latin America”

Wednesday, 2 October 2013, 4-5 p.m. (reception at 3:30 p.m.)
Glasscock Center Library, 311 Glasscock Building
Free and open to public, and refreshments will be served.

Paola S. Hernández

Paola S. Hernández
bio →
Associate Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese,
The University of Wisconsin, Madison


Brenda Werth

Brenda Werth
| bio →
Associate Professor of World Languages and Cultures,
American University


The Glasscock Center will host a roundtable discussion entitled “Human Rights Abuses and the Politics of Memorial Sites in Latin America” on 2 October 2013. Participants in the roundtable will reflect on and continue the conversation started by Patricio Guzmán’s documentary, Nostalgia for the Light, which will be shown in The Evans Library Annex, Room 410, on 1 October 2013 at 7 p.m. Two scholars of Latin American theater and performance, Dr. Paola S. Hernández and Dr. Brenda Werth, will present papers focusing on the Southern Cone region of South America in the aftermath of human rights violations that occurred under dictatorships that existed there in the 1970s and 1980s; topics that are  also presented in the film Nostalgia for the Light. Professor Hernández’s talk addresses the ongoing debates initiated by human rights organizations and grassroots movements on how best to recover or document history. She proposes two modes for understanding a traumatic past: museums and documentary film. Professor Werth’s presentation reveals the ways in which Southern Cone human rights activists and artists have collaborated to produce artwork that is central to the collective tasks of mourning, commemoration, and memorialization in the post- dictatorial contexts of Chile and Argentina. Her multi-genre approach uses theater and photography to demonstrate the creative modes artists have employed to represent loss and absence, to draw attention to continuing injustices, and to provide public sites and rituals of commemoration.

About Dr. Paola S. Hernández

Paola S. Hernández specializes in contemporary Latin American theatre and performance. She has published numerous articles on Southern Cone theatre, performance, memory politics, sites of memory, and human rights. She is the author El teatro de Argentina y Chile: Globalización, resistencia y desencanto (Corregidor, 2009), and most recently she is a co-editor (with Brenda Werth and Florian Becker) of Imagining Human Rights in Twenty-First-Century Theater: Global Perpectives (Palgrave, 2013). Her current research project examines the role of the “real” in theatre and visual arts with an emphasis on contemporary documentary theatre and urban ethnography in Argentina, Colombia, and Peru. Hernández is the South American drama editor for the Handbook of Latin American Studies, Library of Congress, as well as Book Review editor for Latin American Theatre Review.

About Dr. Brenda Werth

Brenda Werth’s research interests include Latin American theatre, performance, memory studies, and translation. She is author of the book Theatre, Performance, and Memory Politics in Argentina (Palgrave, 2010); co-editor (with Paola Hernández and Florian Becker) of Imagining Human Rights in Twenty-First Century Theatre: Global Perspectives (Palgrave, 2013); and co-editor (with May Summer Farnsworth and Camilla Stevens) of Escrito por mujeres (LATR Books, University of Kansas, 2013). She is currently working on two projects: the first explores emerging forms of autobiography in twenty-first-century Argentine documentary theater and performance. The second investigates the role of theatre in shaping discourses on citizenship and human rights under Peronism.

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Tuesday, 1 October 2013, 7 p.m.
Room 410, Evans Library Annex
Film Screening of Nostalgia for the Light
A film by Patricio Guzmán and Icarus Films
Introduction and Q&A by Dr. Nicholas B. Suntzeff, Mitchell/Heep/Munnerlyn Professor of Observational Astronomy, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Texas A&M University

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