Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


The Ailing Female Body as other: Trauma and Memory in Claudia Llosa's La Teta Asustada (2009)


Modern Languages & Literatures


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



In this paper I will consider the relationship between the body, memory, and violence as developed through Fausta, the protagonist in Claudia Llosa's La teta asustada (2009). I will examine the ways in which the body forms its own memories, as well as how it responds to memories of violence, as suggested by the theories of Julia Kristeva and Judith Butler. Secondly, I will explore the power of song and voice, which emanate from the body and have a well-documented role in Andean oral memory, history and cultures, in the processes of healing and remembering. Lastly, I will demonstrate how the film itself exists within a framework of violence such that although Llosa suggests the possibility for the conditions for healing, she exerts a form of symbolic violence over and against the plot and the protagonist Fausta that undermines the body and the ability of the feminine to come to terms with past traumas. In spite of the fact that the film asks that we remember both the history of colonialism and the guerrilla violence enacted by the Sendero Luminoso in Peru, Llosa traps Fausta within a specifically masculine framework such that she is only able to heal and to cope with her memories through the careful guidance and subtle manipulation of the powerful figures in her life, namely, her uncle, her employer, and the gardner.

Conference Name

Lynn Healy

Conference Location

Austin, Texas

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