Queering Acts of Mourning in the Aftermath of Argentina's Dictatorship

September 2014
6 black and white illustrations
206 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Monografias A
ISBN: 9781855662797
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Tamesis Books
BISAC LIT004100, PER000000

Queering Acts of Mourning in the Aftermath of Argentina's Dictatorship

The Performances of Blood

Cecilia Sosa

Shows how the experience of violence in Argentina shed light on a new sense of "being together" that goes beyond bloodline ties.
Co-winner of the 2013 inaugural Publication Prize awarded by the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland

The aftermath of Argentina's last dictatorship (1976-1983) has traditionally been associated with narratives of suffering, which recall the loss of the 30,000 civilians infamously known as the "disappeared". When democracy was recovered, the unspoken rule was that only those related by blood to the missing were entitled to ask for justice. This book both queries and queers this bloodline normativity. Drawing on queer theory and performance studies, it develops an alternative framework for understanding the affective transmission of trauma beyond traditional family settings. To do so, it introduces an archive of non-normative acts of mourning that runs across different generations. Through the analysis of a broad spectrum of performances - including interviews, memoirs, cooking sessions, films, jokes, theatrical productions and literature - the book shows how the experience of loss has not only produced a well-known imaginary of suffering but also new forms of collective pleasure.

Cecilia Sosa received a PhD in Drama from Queen Mary, University of London. She is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at School of Arts & Digital Industries, University of East London.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Paradoxes of Blood: From the Madres' Queer Mourning to the Kirchnerist Era
Black Humour and the Children of the Disappeared
Undoing the Cult of the Victim: Los Rubios (2003), M (2007) and La mujer sin cabeza (2008)
The Cooking Mother: Hebe de Bonafini and the Conversion of the Former ESMA
The Attire of (Post-) Memory: Mi vida después (2009, Lola Arias)
Kinship, Loss and Political Heritage: Los topos (2008) and Kirchner's Death
Conclusion: The Recovery of the House
Bibliography and Filmography


Cecilia Sosa's volume offers an incisive, heart-wrenching yet joyful exploration through the aftermath of the convulse years of the military dictatorship in Argentina (1976-1983), which brought horror and death to Argentine society . . . and of how Argentine society has managed to deal and engage with loss. . . . An engaging and fresh read, the volume's main contribution to the field of memory and identity studies is that it succeeds in providing an innovative theoretical perspective to approach it. 452F

This ambitious study provides a timely and valuable contribution to recent scholarly and societal debates on memory and identity politics that extends outside of the Southern Cone.
[T]he affective and intellectual pleasure of reading her analyses of the practices featured between the pages of this book clearly demonstrate the ability of people not only to live through trauma, but to live with others in exciting and unexpected ways. WOMEN & PERFORMANCE

Not only is Sosa's Queering Acts of Mourning riveting and immensely readable, it also constitutes a breakthrough in changing the direction of studies of memory, trauma, mourning, and kinship in post-dictatorial Argentina. LATIN AMERICAN THEATRE REVIEW

[T]his ambitious study is a valuable contribution to scholarly and societal debates in contemporary Argentina and undoubtedly instructive for other countries grappling with the aftermath state of violence. JOURNAL OF LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES

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