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Resources: Podcasts

Frederick M. Nunn: Threads of History or, The Chile of the Arpilleras - Studies in Imagination, Perspectives and Intrigue

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Date:  Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Presenter:  Frederick M. Nunn is Professor Emeritus of History and International Studies, Portland State University, where he also served in several administrative posts including that of Vice-Provost or International Affairs. More recently he was Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of National Security Affairs at the Center for Hemispheric Studies, National Defense University, Washington, D. C. He received his advanced degrees from the University of New Mexico: MA in Portuguese and PhD in Ibero-American Studies, both 1963. He is the author and editor of articles and books on Chilean history, literature, and politics, Chilean and Latin American fiction, and Latin American and comparative military-civilian relations. His most recent publications include Relaciones militares-civiles sudamericanas en el siglo veintiuno: Sombras del pasado y formas de lo que vendrá (Santiago, 2011) and "Hacia un acercamiento histórico e imprescindible: Relaciones entre civiles y militares en el siglo xvii," Revista Política y Estrategia (2011). He has received grants and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Fulbright-Hays Program, the Social Science Research Council/American Council of Learned Societies Joint Committee on Latin American Studies, and the American Philosophical Society for research in South America and Europe.

Description:  Times of stress or crisis produce vivid and dramatic examples of the perpetual relationship between history and politics, and the creative arts. So it was in in late twentieth-century Chile when "received" historical and political beliefs proved false, at best misleading. In 1973, Latin America's most professional armed forces and police deposed a democratically elected president, held power for seventeen years, ruling harshly all the while.

Chileans in opposition to the regime produced art, literature, music, poetry, and theatre which not only expressed their realization concerning assumptions about Chile's past and its institutions, they demanded change. In no genre is this more clearly expressed than in that of the arpilleras. "Threads of History" explores "the Chile of the Arpilleras," the context in which appliqué became the medium of expression for the Chileans' appreciation of their past and present, and perhaps their future.

For reference, please see the event flyer.