Why has violence been a predominant topic in contemporary Argentine film and literature? What conclusions can be drawn from the dissemination of violent images and narratives that depict violence in Argentina? In Argentina, the problem of violence is rooted in the country's long experience with authoritarian rule as well as in more recent trends such as the weakening of the state and the rule of law brought about by neoliberal reforms. The eleven essays that make up Violence in Argentine Literature and Film (1989-2005) seek to interpret and analyze the extent to which violence communicates structural inequalities or lines of fissure in contemporary Argentina resulting from the transformations that the state, the ecomy, and society in general have experienced during the past two decades. Applying a variety of critical approaches, the contributors explore violence in Argentine cultural productions as it relates to four broad themes: the body as site of physical violence, the legacies of Argentina's authoritarian past, the collapse of the myth of the Argentine nation, and the current battles over how to define particular social and geographical places in the context of an increasingly violent society.
Carolina Rocha is Assistant Professor in Spanish at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She holds a PhD from the University of Texas and specializes in contemporary Southern Cone literature and film. She is co-editor (with Hugo Hortiguera) of Argentinean Cultural Production during the Neoliberal Years. Her articles on Argentine film have appeared in Revista de Estudios Hispanicos, Studies in Latin American Popular Culture, Ciberletras, and Bulletin of Spanish Studies. In the summer of 2007, she took part in a National Endowment for the Humanities seminar in Argentina. She is currently working on a manuscript that explores representations of masculinity in contemporary Argentine cinema. Elizabeth Montes Garces is an Associate Professor in the Department of French, Italian and Spanish at the University of Calgary. She is the author of El cuestionamiento de los mecanismos de representacion en la novelistica de Fanny Buitrago (1997) and of numerous articles published in prestigious journals such as Texto critico, Letras Femeninas, Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispanicos, Anuario de Letras, and Revista de Literatura Mexicana Contemporanea. She is editor of Relocating Identities in Latin American Cultures (University of Calgary Press). She is currently at work on a book on the relationship between body and text in the works of four Latin American female writers: Ana Maria Shua, Diamela Eltit, Carmen Boullosa, and Laura Restrepo.