Historizar el pasado vivo en América latina, initially launched in 2007, is now an e-publication of the Center for Human Rights (Centro de Derechos Humanos), Universidad Alberto Hurtado.
This e-publication originated in 2003 at ILAS-Institute of Latin American Studies (today CLACS-Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies), University of London. A workshop brought together scholars who were beginning to write a new kind of contemporary history in Latin American countries that returned to democratic rule after living under dictatorships or through sustained internal armed conflict. They discussed the distinctive challenges of addressing recent events that remained in the memories of many, by historians that lived through them, in a context in which their dramatic character made them an enduring moral problem for the national conscience. Argentina, Chile and Peru were examined in depth by multiple authors. More broadly, Historizar el pasado vivo aimed to draw the attention of the historical profession and the international community of Latin Americanists to an exciting intellectual development taking place in the region.
Today la historia reciente is a dynamic field throughout the region. Fifty years after the coup that established a long military dictatorship in Chile, 40 years since the end of the harsh military rule of the Proceso from 1976 to 1983 in Argentina, and 20 years after the Peruvian Truth commission’s report on the internal armed conflict (1980-2000) which produced 70 000 deaths — Historizar el pasado vivo is a testimony to the creative, pioneering beginnings of the field. It offers a rich source of perspectives on the conceptual categories of memory and truth, as seen in a variety of disciplines. And it presents the historiographical debates in various European countries facing their own recent pasts, in particular German Zeitgeschichte, French histoire du temps présent, and Spanish historia reciente.