State Terrorism and the Politics of Memory in Latin America: Transmissions Across The Generations of Post-Dictatorship Uruguay, 1984–2004

by Gabriela Fried Amilivia


"Gabriela Fried Amilivia’s accomplished work is an invaluable contribution to the modest, yet growing, body of literature to focus exclusively on the evolution of memory in post-dictatorship Uruguay, which has tended to occupy a secondary role in both theoretical and critical debates to its larger neighbour across the Río de la Plata. This study therefore gives the flurry of activity and interest in commemoration since the mid-1990s in Uruguay the nuanced attention it duly deserves, taking its place alongside Eugenia Allier Montaño’s work on sites and practices of memory, Francesca Lessa’s seminal study of transitional memory and justice and Mariana Achugar’s coverage of memory and subjectivity beyond ‘the usual suspects’ to incorporate the Uruguayan military. ... Fried’s work differs in a number of ways ... What emerges is an intensely rich and moving study of memory, arguably a reflection of the blending of Fried’s personal and professional positions as a member of the latter generation and a scholar and active contributor to academic debates." —Journal of Latin American Studies

"This book investigates the traumatic memory of individuals and families in Uruguay after the state terrorist regime that was suffered between 1973 and 1985. This study is a theoretical, methodological, and socio-historical contribution to the field, especially for memory studies from the perspective of the victims’ subjectivities. Gabriela Fried shows how the experience of extreme vulnerability becomes the sequel to the cumulative traumatic experience of individuals and families, and she illuminates some of the most relevant dimensions of this problem, thereby contributing to a wider understanding of the complex processes of political memories in Latin America in the lives of individuals and society." - Elizabeth Lira, Dean, Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Santiago de Chile

"Each violent history has its unique features. With lucidity and poise, Gabriela Fried analyzes the transgenerational legacy of human-rights crimes in Uruguay during the dictatorship and subsequent 'transitional politics of oblivion' and amnesty for perpetrators. Informed by a deep knowledge of trauma theory, memory studies and psychoanalysis, Fried’s ethnographic psychohistory traces the haunting legacy of silence within a resilient politics of memory and voice. Deeply moving interviews with second-generation victims demonstrate the inextricable intertwinement of personal and collective memory and trauma. This is a groundbreaking study for anyone interested in crimes against humanity and their haunting transgenerational legacy." - Gabriele M. Schwab, Chancellor's Professor, Comparative Literature, School of Humanities, University of California, Irvine

"State Terrorism and the Politics of Memory in Latin America is a significant contribution to our understanding of the painful costs that traumatic memory plays in the life of a nation well after traumatic events have occurred. Professor Fried provides an engaging, humane and deeply researched study of how trauma becomes transmitted across generations and how it lives on to distort the political and social fabric of a nation. The book is an eloquent reminder of why the past must be remembered and acknowledged in order that it can finally be put to rest." - Jeffrey Prager, Professor of Sociology, UCLA


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