The Struggle for the Past

The Struggle for the Past

How We Construct Social Memories

Elizabeth Jelin


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In all societies—but especially those that have endured political violence—the past is a shifting and contested terrain, never fixed and always intertwined with present-day cultural and political circumstances. Organized around the Argentine experience since the 1970s within the broader context of the Southern Cone and international developments, The Struggle for the Past undertakes an innovative exploration of memory’s dynamic social character. In addition to its analysis of how human rights movements have inflected public memory and democratization, it gives an illuminating account of the emergence and development of Memory Studies as a field of inquiry, lucidly recounting the author’s own intellectual and personal journey during these decades.


Elizabeth Jelin:

Elizabeth Jelin is a Senior Researcher at the National Council for Scientific Research (CONICET) and the Institute of Economic and Social Development (IDES) in Buenos Aires. A foundational figure in the development of Memory Studies as a discipline, she is the author of numerous books, of which several have been translated into English.