Memorializing Disappearance in Argentina through Literary Testimonies

Lydia Gil Keff, from the University of Denver, USA, gives a lecture entitled „Active Memory: Memorializing Disappearance in Argentina through Literary Testimonies“. The lecture will take place on Wednesday 30 March at 4.30 pm in room 103 in Lögberg at the University of Iceland and will be given in English.

Hólmfríður Garðarsdóttir, Professor of Spanish, will present the scholar.

This event is organized by the Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Languages and the Centre for Studies in Memory and Literature at the University of Iceland. All are welcome.

 

Prof. Gil Keff 's presentation will provide an overview of countermonumental initiatives for memorializing the Disappeared in Argentina. From performative acts of remembrance, such as the rondas of the Mothers and Grandmothers, the escraches and siluetazos, to spaces of memory that have moved away from the heroic, permanent, and definitive aspirations of traditional memorials, these countermonuments embody the critical, ephemeral, and self-reflexive to promote active remembering through action.              Through examples from literary testimonies by Jewish ex-detained disappeared, she argues that literary testimonies of atrocity belong to this countermonumental current of memorialization as they expose the unreliability of memory, the limits of representation, and the impossibility of juridical testimony, and demand an active engagement with the text. In addition, the testimonies by ex-detained disappeared of Jewish origin force the reader to confront the nature and prevalence of anti-Semitism in Argentina and the relation between communal passivity and complicity in the event of atrocity.

 

Lydia Gil Kef teaches in the Department of Languages and Literatures and the Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Denver. She received a Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Texas at Austin and M.A. degrees in Comparative Literature and Spanish from the State University of New York in Buffalo. Her recent scholarship focuses on the memorialization of atrocity in the Southern Cone and the implications of memory, trauma, and cultural politics for literary testimony.

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