A CONVERSATION WITH RUBÉN CHABABO AND KATHERINE HITE "THE MUSEUMS OF MEMORY IN LATIN AMERICA: OR HOW TO REMEMBER AFTER THE COLLAPSE"
What is the meaning behind the authoritarian regimes' experience in Latin America and how should we untangle it once the time has passed? How have our societies managed to process the past filled with criminal outburst used by the state to enslave the communities? Is there a way to learn from the past? Have we managed to transform the pain into heritage? How is it possible to project our future by taking a glance back at the past? What place do the traumatic memories of the past take in our present-day lives? And what exactly is the purpose of remembering the painful moments?
The Museum of Memory is an interesting place where one can search for the appropriate answers for the questions above. Its purpose is to invoke pain and to serve as testimony to the true scale of the tragedy created by the crimes against humanity. This institution is a powerful platform of reflection on the intensity of these questions that are never easy to answer. Our presentation is a debate on some of these topics.
Rubén A. Chababo is a Literature Professor of Nineteenth Century Argentine Literature at the Humanities and Arts School of Rosario. Since December 2002, he has been the Director of the Museo de la Memoria (Museum of Memory) in the city of Rosario, pertaining to a branch of the Secretary of Culture of the Municipality of Rosario, which is the first governmental institution devoted to reconstructing and safekeeping the memory of the recent past linked to the last military dictatorship, in power from 1976 to 1983.
Katherine Hite joined the Vassar faculty in 1997. She received her B.A. from Duke University and her Masters in International Affairs and Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University. Prior to her arrival at Vassar, she served as the associate director of the Institute of Latin American and Iberian Studies of Columbia, where she also taught courses in Latin American studies and comparative politics.
Hite is the author of Politics and the Art of Commemoration: Memorials to Struggle in Latin America and Spain (Routledge, 2012), and When the Romance Ended: Leaders of the Chilean Left, 1968-1998 (Columbia University Press, 2000).
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