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Building Memory: The Brazilian National Union of Students under Dictatorship
Victoria Langland is currently an assistant professor of history at the University of California, Davis. She earned her PhD from Yale University in 2004 and her dissertation was on student movements in Brazil during the 1964-1985 military regime, which won Best Dissertation Prize from the New England Council of Latin American Studies. Her book Speaking of Flowers: Student Movements and the Molding of 1968 in Military Brazil (Duke University Press) is forthcoming in 2013.
Talk abstract: This talk uses the headquarters building of the National Students Union (UNE) as a lens through which to examine how and when material spaces become vehicles for memory. Tracing the late-20th century history of student activism in Brazil, especially students’ critical role as opponents to the military government of 1964-1985, it explores the ways in which various generations of students sought to assert their political authority through appeals to and constructions of collective memory. In the process it demonstrates the importance of physical space as a seemingly material connection to the remembered past.