Northwestern Events Calendar


Unwanted Witnesses: Journalists and Conflict in Contemporary Latin America - Gabriela Polit Dueñas and Jorge Coronado in Conversation

When: Tuesday, February 9, 2021
5:00 PM - 6:15 PM CT

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free

Contact: Center for Latinx Digital Media  

Group: Center for Latinx Digital Media

Co-Sponsor: Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities
Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Category: Academic


Please join the Latin American & Caribbean Studies Program and the Center for Latinx Digital Media at Northwestern University for this conversation with Gabriela Polit Dueñas about her book Unwanted Witnesses: Journalists and Conflict in Contemporary Latin America, moderated by Jorge Coronado.

About the book
Gabriela Polit Dueñas analyzes the work of five narrative journalists from three countries. Marcela Turati, Daniela Rea, and Sandra Rodriguez from Mexico, Patricia Nieto from Colombia, and María Eugenia Ludueña from Argentina produce compelling literary works, but also work under dangerous, intense conditions. What drives and shapes their stories are their affective responses to the events and people they cover. The book offers an insightful analysis of the emotional challenges, the stress and traumatic conditions journalists face when reporting on the region’s most pressing problems. It combines ethnographic observations of the journalists’ work, textual analysis, and a theoretical reflection on the ethical dilemmas journalists confront on a daily basis. Unwanted Witnesses puts forward a necessary discussion about the place contemporary journalists occupy in the field of production, and how the risks they run speak directly about the limits of our democracies.

About the speakers

Gabriela Polit Dueñas is Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Texas at Austin. While her previous work explored the representation of violence in contexts of armed conflict, political turmoil and illegal business, her current work focuses mainly on the affective experience of writing. She is interested in the way journalists listen to the subjects of their stories and embrace their testimonies.
Her previous books include Narrating Narcos: Culiacán and Medellín (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013), which examines the prominent role of narcotics trafficking in contemporary Latin American cultural production, Cosas de hombres. Escritores y caudillos en la literatura latinoamericana del siglo XX (Beatriz Viterbo Editores, 2008), Meanings of Violence in Contemporary Latin America (Palgrave, 2011), co-edited with María Helena Ruenda, and Crítica literaria ecuatoriana. Hacia un nuevo siglo (Ed). (FLACSO, 2001).

Jorge Coronado is Professor of Latin American literatures and Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program at Northwestern University. He is the author of The Andes Imagined: Indigenismo, Society, and Modernity (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009), Portraits in the Andes: Photography and Agency, 1900-1950 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018), and co-editor of Visiones de los Andes. Ensayos críticos sobre el concepto de paisaje y región (Plural Editores, 2019). Recently, he was named Series Editor of Illuminations: Cultural Formations of the Americas at the University of Pittsburgh Press.

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