This dissertation is accessible only to the Illinois State University community.

  • Off-Campus ISU Users: To download this item, click the "Off-Campus Download" button below. You will be prompted to log in with your ISU ULID and password.
  • Non-ISU Users: Contact your library to request this item through interlibrary loan.

Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis-ISU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


School of Theatre and Dance: Theatre

First Advisor

Ann Haugo


For my thesis, I explore and formulate the image constructed around the Madres de la Plaza de mayo for English-speaking readers by performance theory and feminist scholarship, and how documentary footage and scripted film correlates or opposes that image. I examine how these constructed and recorded images of the Madres and their positioning produces a mythical notion of who the Madres are and how they and their marches became destabilizes of the traditional concepts of maternity, femininity and passivity in the Dirty War. This thesis is meant to be a description and analysis of the mythical image of the Madres for English-speaking audiences. Scholars have elevated the Madres to a status of exceptional mother who utilized traditional feminine concepts to their advantage. This constructed image of the Madres has placed them and their children outside traditional concepts and terms. They exist both within and outside typical notions of maternity, femininity, and passivism. In my thesis, I explore the writings of the Madres and the image of the super-Madre who became an activist, mothers who stepped into the political conversation. I then compare how they brought maternity and concepts of femininity into their role as activists. Lastly, I explore these images and indistinct positioning and their manifestation in the film La Historia Oficial. This film was made shortly after the fall of the dictatorship and deals with the loss of identity and structure that Argentina was facing because of the disappeared. Although this film does not focus solely on the Madres, it allows us to better understand the world surrounding the Madres and how the disappeared were able to gain voices again. By examining all these images surrounding and about the Madres for the English-speaking reader, I am able to construct the perception of the Madres for the U.S. reader.


Imported from ProQuest Clark_ilstu_0092N_10031.pdf


Page Count


Off-Campus Download