Luther College's Nancy Gates Madsen to speak on Argentina's "Dirty War" March 6

Feb. 20, 2012

Nancy Gates Madsen, Luther College assistant professor of Spanish, will present the spring Paideia Text and Issues Lecture Tuesday, March 6, 7 p.m. in the Center for Faith and Life Recital Hall on the Luther campus.

Gates Madsen's lecture is titled "¡Viva la Revolución!…or maybe not: Silenced Stories from Argentina's 'Dirty War.'"

A reception will follow the lecture in Qualley Lounge in the Center for Faith and Life.

Both the lecture and reception are open to the public with no charge for admission.

Gates Madsen's lecture will focus on the dictatorship in Argentina from 1976-83, a time period known as Argentina's "Dirty War" in which thousands of people were imprisoned, tortured and "disappeared."

The lecture addresses the fate of babies born to prisoners in clandestine detention centers and given to military families to raise.

In an attempt to combat the military's "pact of silence" regarding the systematic appropriation of children, human rights activists and authors have chronicled the plight of the youngest victims of the dictatorship in documentaries, testimonies and novels.

Through an examination of Elsa Osorio's novel "My Name is Light," Gates Madsen will explore several fundamental questions regarding the legacy of the dictatorship:

Do authors have a responsibility to the victims whose stories they borrow?

What prevents authors from telling the complete story of trauma?

Can happy endings ever be unethical?

Gates Madsen teaches Spanish at Luther. Her research explores the legacies of authoritarianism in Latin America, in particular how societies remember a traumatic past.

Nancy Gates Madsen