Juan Pablo Gomez. Ph.D. Ohio State University. Researcher and professor at the Interdisciplinary Institute of Social Sciences, Central American University (UCA). He investigates the processes of construction of memories around the recent past of Nicaragua and Central America. He also works on the linkage between culture, power, and politics (20th century). His recent research analyzes how models of authority have been built and disseminated throughout the Nicaraguan cultural field, and how these models legitimize authoritarian and dictatorial political processes. He is currently working on narratives representing the past of the Somoza dictatorship and the Sandinista revolution, and their uses in post-war and peace-building contexts in Nicaragua.
2017. (coords.): Antología del pensamiento crítico nicaragüense contemporáneo. Colección: Antologías del Pensamiento Latinoamericano y caribeño. Buenos Aires: Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales (CLACSO).
2015. Autoridad/Cuerpo/Nación: Batallas culturales en Nicaragua (1930-1943). Managua: Instituto de Historia de Nicaragua y Centroamérica, Universidad Centroamericana (IHNCA-UCA).
Research Project as a fellow of CALAS
Title: Uses of the recent past and memory in the transition to peace in Nicaragua: policies, actors, discourses, artifacts
Abstract: My research project responds to a concern about the political uses of the past during the political Nicaraguan transition. The general research question is: What discourse have political and social actors developed around the dictatorship and the revolution since 1990? Through this question, I want to analyze how the past is represented, studying its uses from the pacification process that began in 1990, after the electoral defeat of the Sandinista revolution. Since this date, dictatorship and revolution have been elements significantly present in the political discourse of the transition to peace and democratization.
The representation of the dictatorship and the revolution in the discourse of the transition has not responded to a democratic elaboration. On the contrary, the past has been appealed to as a strategy of stigmatization and disqualification of the 'enemy', thus transmitting to the present a frozen vision of the polarities and binary logics of the past of war and political violence. Consequently, the public discussion of the past has been maintained on the representations of good and evil, avoiding problematizing nodal issues for the consolidation of peace and democracy.