Degree Year

2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Hispanic Studies

Advisor(s)

Ana Maria Díaz Burgos
Patrick O'Connor
Penacini Constanza

Committee Member(s)

Claire Solomon, Chair
Sebastiaan Faber, Chair

Keywords

Argentina, Pregnancy, Dictatorship, Memory, Torture, Fiction, Postmemory, Neoliberalism, Adoption, Intergenerational trauma

Abstract

My research attempts to build an archive of the violence that mothers and daughters faced under the Argentine "Dirty War" dictatorship of 1976-1983 with specific attention to pregnant women who visibly straddle the identity of mother and daughter. By looking to state-sanctioned resources and fictional narratives, including novels and film, I hope to better understand a lived experience of pregnant prisoners that has been historically erased, and understand how this intergenerational trauma instilled a legacy of terror through the exploitation of feminized bodies. My thesis proposes that subversive, pregnant women posed the historically rich threat of being “brujas” (witches) against the masculine military state, and that this subversion appears in popular, fictional narratives (novels and movies) through the character arc of the narrative’s mother and daughter characters. While initially I centered my research only on the pregnant disappeared women, their visible absence from film and fiction challenged me to expand the scope of my study to examine biological, adoptive, clandestine and figurative representations of motherhood in the years following the dictatorship, through the twenty-first century. Thus, fiction plays a key role in building an archive that considers how the enduring, intergenerational terror of the military dictatorship operates through these women.

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