Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Comparative Literature


Jean Graham-Jones

Subject Categories

Comparative Literature | Latin American Literature | Theatre and Performance Studies


Argentine Theatre, Irish Theatre, Lola Arias, Marina Carr, Neoliberalism, Postmodernism


This project is an exploration of eight plays, four from Argentina, four from Ireland, comprehending the period between 1990 and 2003. Both countries share a strong tradition of national theatre that, from its beginnings, was closely intertwined with the development of the nation state. Theatre functions in Argentina and Ireland as a medium through which representations of what it means to be Irish or Argentine have been explored, questioned, and contested. It is the aim of this project to examine how the apparently non-political and ahistorical theater of the playwrights I will examine is indeed a response to a contextualized sense of political, social, and economic uncertainty, fueled by globalization. The postmodern aesthetics of the plays go beyond the playful to question how community, identity, and meaning are articulated in a world where national frameworks are being replaced by transnational movements (both economic and cultural). The impact of neoliberal economic policies implemented on Argentina and Ireland in the 90s and the severe displacement and rise of inequality of large sections of the population in both countries is contested, critiqued, and examined in all the plays of my study. In both the Argentine and Irish cases, lingering repressive practices responsible for human rights violations coexisted with an economic neoliberal agenda that generated its own particular set of discriminations, abuses, and diminish citizenships. This project analyzes how the chosen plays establish links between present and former instances of repression, violence, and abuse--underscoring for audiences unaddressed haunting human rights concerns in late twentieth-century Argentina and Ireland.