Disruptive Archives

Feminist Memories of Resistance in Latin America's Dirty Wars

Gender-based violence and historical memory in Mexico and Argentina

The histories of the Dirty Wars in Mexico and Argentina (1960s–1980s) have largely erased how women experienced and remember the gendered violence during this traumatic time. Viviana Beatriz MacManus restores women to the revolutionary struggle at the heart of the era by rejecting both state projects and the leftist accounts focused on men. Using a compelling archival blend of oral histories, interviews, human rights reports, literature, and film, MacManus illuminates complex narratives of loss, violence, and trauma. The accounts upend dominant histories by creating a feminist-centered body of knowledge that challenges the twinned legacies of oblivion for the victims and state-sanctioned immunity for the perpetrators. A new Latin American feminist theory of justice emerges—one that acknowledges women's strength, resistance, and survival during and after a horrific time in their nations' histories.

Haunting and methodologically innovative, Disruptive Archives attests to the power of women's storytelling and memory in the struggle to reclaim history.

"MacManus offers a deft contribution to the study of Latin American political repression by keeping women's participation in resistance struggles at the center of her feminist intertextual analyses of oral histories and literary and audiovisual pieces."--Pascha Bueno-Hansen, author of Feminist and Human Rights Struggles in Peru: Decolonizing Transitional Justice


Viviana Beatriz MacManus is a visiting assistant professor of critical theory and social justice at Occidental College.

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