Argentina: International Imagination and National Identity


ACLS Fellowship Program


Women's Studies


Neither the debilitating objectification of Orientalism nor the feisty self assertion of the Empire 'writing back' exhausts the discursive relationship between colonizing nations and the lands they once colonized. In the case of Argentina, the cultural elite undertook to construct a nation in the mold of Europe's modern states and in relationship with its models. I examine literary texts, films, and popular forms to analyze the role that Europe and the United States have played in Argentina's obsessive concern with its national identity and international stature. I also suggest what reasons the modern Western nations had for participating in the project of reading, writing, and imagining Argentina into existence. My purpose in this is to develop an interactive theory of national identity.