Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies (PhD)

Degree Level



Graduate School


Luis Fernando Restrepo

Committee Member

Erika Almenara

Second Committee Member

Yajaira Padilla


Human Rights in Latin America, La sangre de la aurora, Latin American Post Conflict Literature, Peru and El Salvador, Roza, tumba, quema, Trauma in Literature


This dissertation focuses on how literature approaches the Salvadoran and Peruvian armed conflicts and contributes with perspectives of the female experience while offering illustrations of mourning processes. It is based on a close analysis of two postconflict novels that emerged after the publication of the corresponding truth commissions final reports. These novels are Roza, tumba, quema (2017) by Claudia Hernández from El Salvador, and La sangre de la aurora (2013) by Claudia Salazar from Peru. The contributions studied in this analysis focus on two areas: (1) a problematization of the female experience of the armed conflicts, and (2) a focus in narratives that enact processes of working through trauma. These novels offer intricate views of women as participants, perpetrators, bystanders, and having different experiences of the armed conflicts. Moreover, they illuminate the process of working through trauma with creative symbolic approaches that lead towards productive mourning. These texts complement other genres that write about trauma like testimonios or truth commission reports through humanized and empathy evoking narratives. At the same time, they complement the truth commission reports by including references to less visible human rights violations like forced displacement, sexual violence, and forced disappearance of children. Considering the traumatic implications of the armed conflicts, this dissertation hinges on the work of trauma theorists like Cathy Caruth, Dominick LaCapra, Dori Laub and Shoshana Felman. In addition, it is informed by narrative empathy and emotion theorists like Martha Nussbaum and Suzanne Keen. With regards to the historical background it concentrates on the Salvadoran armed conflict which lasted from 1980 to 1992, and its truth commission report From Madness to Hope: The 12-Year War in El Salvador: Report of the Commission on the Truth for El Salvador (1993), and the Peruvian armed conflict which lasted from 1980 to 2000, and the corresponding Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report (2003). Chapter 1 and 2 focus on the Salvadoran case, its truth commission report and Roza, tumba, quema. Chapter 3 and 4 focus on the Peruvian case, its corresponding truth commission report and an analysis of La sangre de la aurora.

Available for download on Sunday, August 15, 2021