Politics and the Art of Commemoration: Memorials to struggle in Latin America and Spain, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Politics and the Art of Commemoration

Memorials to struggle in Latin America and Spain, 1st Edition

By Katherine Hite


160 pages | 35 B/W Illus.

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Memorials are proliferating throughout the globe. States recognize the political value of memorials: memorials can convey national unity, a sense of overcoming violent legacies, a commitment to political stability or the strengthening of democracy. Memorials represent fitful negotiations between states and societies symbolically to right wrongs, to recognize loss, to assert distinct historical narratives that are not dominant.

This book explores relationships among art, representation and politics through memorials to violent pasts in Spain and Latin America. Drawing from curators, art historians, psychologists, political theorists, holocaust studies scholars, as well as the voices of artists, activists, and families of murdered and disappeared loved ones, Politics and the Art of Commemoration uses memorials as conceptual lenses into deep politics of conflict and as suggestive arenas for imagining democratic praxis.

Tracing deep histories of political struggle and suggesting that today’s commemorative practices are innovating powerful forms of collective political action, this work will be of great interest to students and scholars of international relations, Latin American studies and memory studies.


This book received an honorable mention in the New England Council of Latin American Studies best book category 2012.

Table of Contents

1. Memorials to Struggle 2. Memorializing Spain’s Narrative of Empire 3. "The Eye that Cries": Victims, Victimizers, and the Question of Empathy 4. Searching and the Inter-Generational Transmission of Grief 5. The "Bicis" of Fernando Traverso: The Globality of Art and Memory Making

About the Author

Katherine Hite is Frederick Ferris Thompson Professor of Political Science and Director of the Latin American and Latino/a Studies Program at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. She is the author of When the Romance Ended: Leaders of the Chilean Left, 1968-1998, as well as several works on the politics of memory.

About the Series


The Series provides a forum for innovative and interdisciplinary work that engages with alternative critical, post-structural, feminist, postcolonial, psychoanalytic and cultural approaches to international relations and global politics. In our first 5 years we have published 60 volumes.

We aim to advance understanding of the key areas in which scholars working within broad critical post-structural traditions have chosen to make their interventions, and to present innovative analyses of important topics. Titles in the series engage with critical thinkers in philosophy, sociology, politics and other disciplines and provide situated historical, empirical and textual studies in international politics.


We are very happy to discuss your ideas at any stage of the project: just contact us for advice or proposal guidelines. Proposals should be submitted directly to the Series Editors:

‘As Michel Foucault has famously stated, "knowledge is not made for understanding; it is made for cutting" In this spirit The Edkins - Vaughan-Williams Interventions series solicits cutting edge, critical works that challenge mainstream understandings in international relations. It is the best place to contribute post disciplinary works that think rather than merely recognize and affirm the world recycled in IR's traditional geopolitical imaginary.’

Michael J. Shapiro, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, USA


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General