Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures


Magdalena Perkowska

Committee Members

Silvia Dapia

Fernando DeGiovanni

Alejandro Meter

Subject Categories

Jewish Studies | Latin American Literature


Latin American Jewish literature, haunting, ghosts, autofiction, postmodern identities


This study approaches haunting in Latin American Jewish Literature from the 1990s through the 2010s as it appears in works by and featuring the descendants of Jewish immigrants. In these decades, this trope is frequently invoked as both a literary metaphor and a critical lens. It arises from and activates a number of themes common in trauma studies and in postmodernism, such as loss, the transmission of memory, our relationships to the past, the rupturing of traditional realities and questions of what can be known and represented. It is particularly prevalent amongst those who pen and protagonize the works examined due both to their historical and identitary positions. They are the children and grandchildren of Jewish immigrants to Latin America, inheritors of traumatic memory, and, as Jews and as thinkers in the era of postmodernism, people with particular relationships to time, history and identity. This study separates haunting by modes of encounter, looking at its figuration into ghosts, its power in haunted places and its embodiment in ghostly objects. By parsing this trope from numerous perspectives, this study examines how the motifs conjured in and by the ghostly link to the construction of identities, how these are inscribed within a larger context of group and nation, and how haunting creates ground for new modes of encountering and relating realities.