American Studies HKU School of Modern Languages and Cultures HKU

BA Course

Elective Course
AMER2061 Argentina and Chile dictatorships: Building resistance in literature and film
6 credits
This course will explore the development and impositions suffered by two Southern Cone countries’ dictatorships: Chile (1973-1990) and Argentina (1973-1983). Apart from contextualising the beginning and aftermath of each regime, the course will delve into the dynamics of resistance in both literature and film from artists that denounced the atrocities committed by those dictatorships in terms of human right violations be it at the time they took place or as an exercise of collective memory. In the case of Chile, there will be a close examination of canonical works by Diamela Eltit’s E. Iluminata (1983), and Roberto Bolaño’s By Night in Chile (2000). The Argentinian dictatorship will be studied through the famous Mothers and Shadows by Marta Traba (1985) and a selection of short stories by Mariana Enríquez (2016). The course will have a cinematic component with two films from each country—Machuca (2004) and Nostalgia for the Light (2010) focused on Chile, and The Official Story (1985) and The Secret in their Eyes (2009) from Argentina—to emphasise the relevance of articulating discourse opposing authoritarianism.
Prerequisite: Nil
Assessment: 100% coursework
(Offered in 2021/2022, 2nd semester)


American Studies HKU