This interdisciplinary monograph explores the discursive manifestations of the conflict over how to remember and interpret the actions of the military during the last dictatorship in Uruguay (1973-1985). Through the exploration of the discursive ways in which this powerful group represents past events and participants, we can trace the ideological struggle over how to reconstruct a traumatic past. By looking at memory as a social and discursive practice, the analysis identifies particular semiotic practices and linguistic patterns deployed in the construction of memory. The discursive description of what is remembered, how it is remembered, and who remembers serves to explain how the institution’s construction of the past is transformed and maintained to respond to outside criticism and create an institutional identity as a lawful state apparatus. This book should interest discourse analysts, historians, sociologists and researchers in the field of transitional justice.
Some memories fade away; other stick around, haunting future generations. What we Remember addresses the struggles over amnesty, responsibility and reconciliation in relation to Uruguayan military discourse. Achugar's readings provide an engaging account of these struggles, skillfully demonstrating in the process how CDA and SFL analysis inform one another. Writing as the daughter of exiled Uruguayan leftists, she provides an illuminating, and potentially exorcising exploration of a dictatorship whose legacy has far from gone away.