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Trauma, Memory, and Performance

Trauma, memory, and performance

Chair: Marianne Hirsch and Diana Taylor


Focusing on survivor testimony and sites of memory from Argentina’s ‘Dirty War,’ this working group asks if specific instances of trauma/memory/and performance have their own unique structure and idiom, or if we can think about individual and collective trauma through a translocal, cosmopolitan lens.  Topics include: the performance of state power and state sponsored terror; the individual and collective nature of trauma; the study of embodied practices such as testimony and witnessing; the construction of archives of testimony; testimony, its use in literature, museums, and pedagogy, its the dramatizations by others, its archivization; the social role of sites of memory (ESMA, Club Atlético, etc.); theaters of justice such as trials, tribunals and truth commissions; performances of protest and resistance.


Diana Taylor is Professor of Performance Studies and Spanish at New York University, and founding Director of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. She is the author of Theatre of Crisis: Drama and Politics in Latin America (1991), Disappearing Acts: Spectacles of Gender and Nationalism in Argentina's 'Dirty War', Duke U.P. (1997), and The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas (2003).    

Marianne Hirsch is Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Director of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Columbia University, New York, United States.