"Chile, September 11, 1973: A Global Event"
International Conference – 16th, 17th and 18th September 2013, Paris
Institut des Sciences Politiques (CERI)/ Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3 (IHEAL)/University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (CHCSC)/ Institute of the Americas
This international conference, organized to mark the 40th anniversary of the coup d’état which overthrew the Popular Unity government and was followed by seventeen years of military dictatorship in Chile, aims to reappraise September 11, 1973 in its transnational dimension and to measure the impact that this event had beyond the borders of Chile, articulating the short time of the end of 1973, the middle-time of the 1970s and the long time over the last four decades.
A first approach will look at the Popular Unity government itself and its international resonance, which is the first explanation for the huge echo that the coup of September 11 received throughout the world. Why have the coalition formed around the Chilean Socialist Party and Salvador Allende in December 1969, his rise to power in September 1970 and the implementation of the three-year long "Chilean way to socialism" had such a lasting impact on the international left? More generally, to what extent did the Popular Unity government represent one of the key events of the Cold War and help make Chile one of the symbolic nodes of confrontation between East and West?
A second approach will seek to analyze the political reception of September 11, 1973 in Europe and the Americas - and in other parts of the world - and the continuity that this event constitutes in the history of the second half of the 20th century. On the one hand, after the outrage felt at the overthrow of a democratically-elected government, or the satisfaction resulting from the disappearance of the "second Cuba", the tragic end of the Popular Unity government constituted a matrix for a profound reorganisation of leftist movements in the West, which has remained largely disregarded by historiography. On the other hand, the establishment of the Chilean military dictatorship was soon followed by the implementation of neoliberal policies which, in the space of two decades, were to spread throughout the world and put an end to the dominance of the Keynesian model that had prevailed since the end of World War II.
A final line of investigation will be the identification of echoes of September 11, 1973 in the international cultural production of the past forty years. How have cinema, literature, theatre and music contributed to the construction and perpetuation of opposing memories of the coup? What meaning can be attached to the multiple interpretations and appropriations of an event which, in many respects, cannot be regarded as belonging only to Chilean history?
Apart from these three main angles of approach that will structure the conference, another major problematic issue also resides in the identification of the different vectors that allowed the reception and international media treatment of 11 September 1973 over the last four decades. What role should be assigned, in particular, to the diaspora of Chilean exiles, to media coverage of the coup and the various ways in which it has been commemorated?
Proposals (15-20 lines) accompanied by a brief curriculum vitae should be sent by April 30, 2013 to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org. The organizing committee of the conference will make its decisions known in the second half of May.
The official languages of the conference will be French, Spanish and English.
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