El Pueblo en Escena. Cultura Y Peronismo (1943-1955)
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CitationPatruno, Luigi. 2017. El Pueblo en Escena. Cultura Y Peronismo (1943-1955). Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractDuring the Peronist decade in Argentina, depictions of mass assemblies in public spaces and intellectual discourses on “the people” became the grounds for political legitimacy, marking a new phase in the hegemonization of the social sphere. Drawing from debates in political theory, analyses of popular culture, and methodologies in visual studies, my dissertation explores the vocabulary and the semantics deployed to define what and who “the people” might be. Rather than merely referring to a totalized collective subject, I argue that representations of “the people” reveal the notion to be a zone of dissension from the beginning. El pueblo en escena foregrounds sites of contact between divergent political and aesthetic practices. Reading central essays across the ideological spectrum by Ezequiel Martínez Estrada, Juan José Sebreli, and Héctor Agosti, I claim that intellectual responses to Perón and to his political agenda enabled and anticipated the spread of the national-populism that would ostensibly be performed by left-wing culture during the following decade. Along with the analysis of the novelties posed by Peronism in the reconfiguration of the cultural field, I draw from cultural forms in multiple media to highlight its continuities with the past. Scrutinizing short stories by Jorge Luis Borges, poems by Juan L. Ortiz, and movies directed by Mario Soffici, I investigate how a different engagement with popular culture overcame historical divisions. These works trouble the state’s preferred vision of rupture, offering a counterpoint to the teleological view of the modernization process. Staging a unified “people” became one of the key functions of public life. While ensuring that crowds had this frame within which to see themselves may have served as a guarantee for popular rights and freedoms, I argue that stereotyped reiterations of these images also contributed to a symbolic disappearance of “the people.” My analysis corrects and complicates this representation of a homogeneous and organic community by including censored, unpublished, and barely known aesthetic materials produced by architect Jorge Sabaté and photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt. These previous excluded images challenge the orchestrated media coverage that often reduced the circulation of “the people” to a strategy of the state’s self-legitimation.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41142037
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