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Department of Social Anthropology


Dr Ram Natarajan (University of Arkansas)

Violence and Narrative Nostalgia: A Retired Officer and the Age of Human Rights Prosecutions in Argentina

This paper ethnographically focuses on a former captain with the Argentine armed forces who now stands trial for crimes against humanity committed during the last military dictatorship. Scholars have emphasized that individuals who commit violence subsequently experience haunting, post-traumatic stress disorder, or problems of remorse and conscience. I show how these concepts fail to capture the critical nuances of how officers live with the consequences of their complicity in brutalities not only psychically, but in their social worlds—their daily relationships with family members, colleagues, and government employees, and their narrative nostalgia for discourses that depicted them as heroes.

Thursday, 7 March, 2019 - 17:00 to 18:30
Event location: 
Edmund Leach Room, Department of Social Anthropology Free School Lane, Cambridge