Captive Women: Oblivion And Memory In Argentina

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Overview

Argentina is the only country in the Americas that has successfully erased the presence of Indians, Africans, and mestizos from its national story. Official documents, reports, and censuses have largely omitted any references to the country's non-European inhabitants, mirroring official policies that once included the extermination of indigenous peoples and continued to encourage Europeanization well into the twentieth century. In Captive Women, Susana Rotker exposes this concerted act of forgetting by looking at a historical phenomenon that has been expunged from the national record: the widespread kidnapping of white women by Argentine Indians in the nineteenth century.

Captivity narratives form a major part of the early colonial literature of the United States, but Argentina has no such tradition. These narratives contradict Argentina's carefully shaped self-image, one historically based on the absence of aboriginal peoples and the impossibility of miscegenation. Captive Women uses close and imaginative readings of military documents, government treaties, travel journals, essays, and memoirs to explore the foundations of Argentina's strategies of silence and its negation of uncomfortable historical realities.

Susana Rotker (1954-2000) was professor of Spanish at Rutgers University.

Jennifer French is assistant professor of Spanish and comparative literature at Williams College.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816640294
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 12/4/2002
  • Series: Cultural Studies of the Americas Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
1 Against Oblivion 1
2 In Conquest of a White Nation: The Elites 20
3 No One Mourns for Captives: The Soldiers 47
4 Frontier Bodies: Esteban Echeverria's La Cautiva 77
5 The Return of the Forbidden: The Women Writers 98
6 Captive Texts: The Ethics of Representation 118
7 The Story of a Journey with No Return 129
8 News of a Disappearing World 151
Notes 171
Bibliography 211
Index 229
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