Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies
Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

Argentine Studies Lecture: "¡Destape! Sex, Democracy, and Freedom in Argentina”

Mon, February 27, 2017 | Hackett Room, SRH 1.313

4:00 PM

Destapar means to take the lid off, uncover, expose. The fall of Argentina’s military dictatorship (1976–1983) ushered in the mass-media phenomenon known as el destape, which saw an avalanche of sexual images and narratives in television, radio, literature, advertising, and theater. Yet film and print media would become the quintessential spaces for the development and popular consumption of its trademarks: explicit discussions and depictions of heterosexual sex, female nudity, and heteronormative softcore pornography and eroticism. 

In this talk, Natalia Milanesio examines the destape as a commercial spectacle that flourished during the return to democracy as a powerful reaction to years of censorship, prohibition, and self-imposed control obligated by the dictatorship. An analysis of the destape elicits a range of compelling questions that this talk will address: What are the meanings of sexual freedom in a post-authoritarian context? What is the relation between the sexualization of mainstream culture and the restoration of democracy and civil liberties? What were the main opposing forces to this process and why? 

A native of Argentina, Natalia Milanesio completed her undergraduate studies at the National University of Rosario. She received her MA in history from New York University (2001) and her PhD in history from Indiana University, Bloomington (2009). Her research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the American Historical Association.

Free and open to the public. 
For more information, contact Paloma Diaz.

Co-sponsored by the Institute for Historical Studies.

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  • Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

    University of Texas at Austin
    SRH 1.310
    2300 Red River Street D0800
    Austin, Texas 78712