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Title: The People United: Popular Power and Political Fictions in Chile (1936-1973)
Authors: Hochberg, Elizabeth Lauren
Advisors: Nouzeilles, Gabriela
Contributors: Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures Department
Keywords: Chilean film
Chilean literature
political fictions
Popular Front
popular power
Popular Unity
Subjects: Latin American literature
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation examines how the concept of popular power, traditionally linked to Chile’s worker-led land and factory takeovers of the early 1970s, may also be applied to Chilean cultural production and, specifically, to the influence of individual creative works on state educational initiatives during the politically intense years of the Popular Front (1936-1941) and Popular Unity (1970-1973). Through close analyses of novels, short stories, comics, and film, I maintain that diverse political fictions—committed to class struggle and often created by workers—advocate both formally and at the level of plot for expanded conceptions of literacy and pedagogy, as well as for new uses of mass media technologies as educational tools. The first chapter studies proletarian Bildungsromans by Jacobo Danke, Nicomedes Guzmán, Carlos Sepúlveda Leyton, and Manuel Rojas which, I argue, turn to past scenes of reading and writing as a mode of questioning the Popular Front coalition’s broad acceptance of hierarchical, book-centered forms of pedagogy. In the second chapter, I suggest that Popular Unity-era noir novels and short stories by Fernando Jerez, Guillermo Atías, Enrique Lihn, and José Miguel Varas, as well as a comic strip by Rodrigo Lira, directly engage with Chile’s new state publishing house regarding how sensationalism and “pulp” aesthetics might effectively impart revolutionary lessons to readers. The third chapter focuses on two independent feature-length films of the 1970s by Carlos Flores and Raul Ruiz, which highlight real-life factory workers directly involved in the recent socialization of industry and the rise of popular power. I demonstrate that these works, building off of earlier-produced worker documentaries, eschew traditional modes of didactic reception amidst criticism of the government-owned Chile Film’s failure to complete full-length productions, aiming instead to ground educational work within the very process of filming. This study, through its focus on both critically acclaimed and lesser-known materials that go against the grain of dominant cultural systems, contributes to constructing a lineage of the struggle for cultural hegemony in twentieth-century Chile.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures

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