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David Sheinin, Trent University, will present "The Plot to Modernize Indigenous Peoples: Rethinking Human Rights Under Military Rule in Argentina, 1976-1983."
Contributed by Jonathan Ablard on 09/20/2012
Dr. Sheinin's talk will take place on September 24th (Monday) at 7pm in Clark Lounge. The talk is sponsored by Latin American Studies with generous support from the Department of History and Cornell University's Latin American Studies Program.
After the military came to power violently in 1976, foreign human rights groups reacted swiftly. Amnesty International spearheaded a strong overseas protest against state terror in Argentina. Just as quickly, military officers convinced of the moral righteousness of their cause, framed those criticisms as a foreign policy problem. In a strategy to disarm critics that featured a range of tactics - from grotesque obfuscation to a flawed constitutional defense of their killing - military authorities tried to build and market the fantasy of a pro-human rights Argentine dictatorship. Argentina welcomed hundreds of Vietnamese refugees (the so-called “boat people”) – then trumpeted the news at the United Nations. Argentine diplomats backed international initiatives to protect women’s rights in the workplace. And the dictatorship embarked on and broadcast news of a project to transform the lives of first peoples, involving more than a dozen federal government agencies, the bureaucracies of at least ten provincial governments, and the armed forces themselves. The plan commodified and homogenized indigenous identity. The dictatorship would tie together and “promote” the interests of indigenous economies around the country in the manufacture and marketing of souvenirs and other crafts. The plan stressed a caricatured, distorted vision of indigenous cultures while advancing a constructed “national” indigenous identity that was supposed to make first peoples over into middle class Argentines
Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Jonathan Ablard at firstname.lastname@example.org or (607) 274-3558. We ask that requests for accommodations be made as soon as possible.