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Freeman, Emma (2017) FOR A THEATER OF IDEAS: FELIPE SANTANDER AND THE POLITICAL PERFORMANCE IN MEXICO. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation is the first critical study of the work of Mexican playwright and director, Felipe Santander. I argue that the six plays that Santander wrote and directed from 1978 to 1990 draw on historical instances of popular struggle in order to propose the continuing presence of Revolutionary concerns in the contemporary context of 1980s Mexico. Across three chapters I analyze how Santander’s fictionalized representations of historical events contribute to the production of what I call his ‘aesthetics of solidarity’: a term which I use to refer to the set of strategies that are mobilized in order to produce an experience of equality in his audience. My first chapter focuses on El extensionista (1978), Santander’s best known play, which I read as re-politicizing elements of the Revolutionary Nationalist imaginary as the foundation for a public conversation about the on-going issue of agrarian reform. The following chapter analyses the remaining three plays from Santander’s Teatro Campesino cycle. I maintain that through these plays Santander theorizes an alternative historiography of Mexico which foregrounds the on-going revolutionary struggles of the people and opposes the established myth of the so-called pax príista. In the context of the emerging scholarship on the Mexican ‘Dirty War’, my dissertation contributes to a reflection on theater’s relationship to these broader historical processes. Finally, I examine La ley no escrita and México-USA as critical performances of the media archive that replace a capitalist logic of fragmentation with an aesthetics of solidarity.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Freeman, Emmaecf22@pitt.eduecf22
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairLund,
Committee CoChairDuchesne Winter,
Committee MemberSotomayor-Miletti, Aurea
Committee MemberBeverley,
Committee MemberJackson-Schebetta,
Date: 20 January 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 28 October 2016
Approval Date: 20 January 2017
Submission Date: 7 December 2016
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 208
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Hispanic Languages and Literatures
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mexican Theater, Political Theater, Solidarity, Mexican Dirty War, Revolution, Scenario,
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2017 21:29
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2017 06:15

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