Alice A. Nelson
Gender, History, and the Struggle for Narrative Power in Recent Chilean Literature
Political Bodies is one of the first studies to link recent developments in Latin American literature to the rise of new social movements in the late 1970s and 1980s. Focusing on literary works in the context of the Chilean women's movement and resistance to the Pinochet dictatorship, Alice Nelson contends that the recent struggle for narrative power in Chile has been a contest about gender ideologies. Furthermore, she argues that this contest has been enacted literally and figuratively on the stage of human bodies as sites of domination and resistance. Examining works by Pía Barros, Davide Benavente and the Taller de Investigación Teatral, Ariel Dorfman, Diamela Eltit, and Isabel Allende, Political Bodies engages emergent feminist critiques of authoritarianism in terms of gender and class, history and language, Nelson persuasively argues that the cultural forms of resistance produced under Pinochet anticipated both the achievements and the shortcomings of Chile's democratic transition form the late 1980s through the present Concertación.
About the author:
Alice A. Nelson has written extensively on recent Chilean literature, and has published translations of short works by several Chilean authors, including Pía Barros, Soledad Bianchi, and Diamela Eltit. Since 1992, she has lived in Olympia, Washington, where she teaches Latin American cultural studies and Spanish language at The Evergreen State College.