Skip navigation

Special Programs

Interterm Courses

Winter Interterm Courses

Spaces of Memory: Texts and Contexts of Argentina's Dirty War

JUST 2030 - 4 credits

Dates: Dec. 1-9, 2013
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Instructor: Lydia Gil-Keff
Registration Deadline: Oct. 1, 2013

Description: From 1976-1983, the Argentine military government engaged in a campaign of terror against its citizens, some of whom were suspected of dissidence and subversion, while many others were considered a threat "by association" to the stability of the regime. It is estimated that during the seven years of this "Dirty War" some 30,000 civilians were "disappeared," abducted by the government and sent to secret spaces where they were detained, tortured, and eventually killed.

This course, taught in Buenos Aires, explores the construction of memory in both texts and physical spaces touched by the violence, repression and disappearance in Argentina. It will further examine anti-Semitism during the military dictatorship. While at the time of the military Junta, the Jewish population of Argentina was estimated at just over 1%, it accounted for an estimated 10% of those disappeared during the "Dirty War." The report of the National Commission of the Disappeared (CONADEP) attests to a particular brutality in the treatment of prisoners of Jewish origin, as Jews were not only tortured, but the torture they were subjected to often took on an anti-Semitic form. We will also examine the role of memory in reconstructing discourses; testimonial literature and the modern and postmodern views of representation; narratives of exile and dispersion; and points of convergence between this literature and other survivor testimonial narratives, particularly those of the Shoah.

Students will have the opportunity to meet with writers and activists whose work is informed by the atrocities of the "Dirty War," visit the Organization of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, and public spaces of memory, such as the Parque de la Memoria, the ESMA, the Baldosas, and others.

No knowledge of the Spanish language is required or expected. Course is eligible for Intercultural Global Studies Minor Credit.

Approximate travel costs*:

Airfare: $900 - 1,200 (Students are responsible for making their own flight arrangements.)
Program Fee: $600 (Fee covers double occupancy lodging and group activities.Program fee is applied to tuition bill)
Miscellaneous:  $500 (Estimated food, exchange fees, and other expenses - NOT payable to DU)
Cancellation Fee: $600 (Non-refundable and is applied to student's account in the event that the course is dropped.)

*These expenses can be subject to change. Cost of tuition is additional to the above fees. 

For more information, contact Lydia Gil Keff at


SPACE IS LIMITED TO 12 STUDENTS. Applications are being accepted now. Final deadline to apply is October 1, 2013 or until course is full. Application forms available online.

Apply for financial aid online.