The Threads of Memory

Teresa Basile and Abril Trigo, editors

The traumatic experience of state terrorism in the Southern Cone countries during the 70s settled the question of memory and, more specifically, of the politics and policies of memory, in the political debate, cultural essay, artistic practice, and academic research. Then, other countries, also dragged by sociopolitical traumatic experiences, assumed this problematic, which by no means is limited to Latin America, as evidenced by that sort of universal trope of historical trauma of modernity that is the Shoá.

Actually, the problematic of memory in Latin America exhibits its own temporality and its own history, which begins with the conquest, continues under different forms of colonialism, neo-colonialism, post-colonialism and internal colonialism, and is reformulated in the organization of modern states, the invention of national imaginaries and the configuration of identities always on the edge, always ambiguous, always in dispute. Memory, as Jesús Martín Barbero said, is the stuff of which we are made.

According to this, we invite to reflect on the axes of memory that crisscross Latin America from different and unequal historical experiences, focusing on the dissimilar locations and multiple actors which dispute and interfere both with the globalization of memories and the critical boundaries set by the Southern Cone experience, whose importance acquires new meanings vis-à-vis other Latin American experiences. Would it be possible to re-connect Latin America -as Ángel Rama and Antonio Candido proposed to do- this time under the aegis of memory?

Which are the regimes of memory in Latin America? What traumatic experiences summon the knowledge of memory? We call to make a collective reflection that allows us to chart a historical and continental map of the struggles for memory, from the politics and policies of memory deployed under dictatorships in the Southern Cone countries to the history of genocide and ethnocide perpetrated by the Guatemalan State against the Maya peoples; from the no man's land of memory of manufacturing enclaves, maquiladoras and narco-borders, to the banished memories of transnational migrants and displaced peoples; from the emptying of memories brought by globalization to the recovery of old memories practiced by the Katarismo in Bolivia, the Zapatistas in Chiapas and other indigenous movements in different corners of Latin America. What are nowadays the twists of memory?

Please send a 250-300 words proposal by October 15, 2013. Essays of no more than 8,000 words in Spanish, Portuguese or English, including a summary of 250-300 words and a brief biography, should be submitted by March 15, 2014 to Teresa Basile ( or Abril Trigo (trigo., editors of this volume.