Los Angeles: A Cartography of Material Memory of the Central America Diaspora


LAC Burkhardt




For residence at the Department of Central American Studies at California State University, Northridge during academic year 2016-2017


This project investigates Central American culture during the postwar period in the isthmus as well as in the transnational Central American communities in the diaspora, namely in Los Angeles. It reconceptualizes the problems of memory, mourning and trauma through the study of varied cultural artifacts. There are two distinct parts to the project: the first addresses the problem of memory within the geographical borders of the Central American nations through the study of literature and film, and the second studies the problem in the diaspora through the material dimension of memory. The investigation demonstrates the dialogue between the study of space, as envisioned by Walter Benjamin and Michel Foucault, and the debates about memory, mourning and trauma which gained prominence in Latin American studies after the end of the dictatorships and wars in Latin America.