Journal of Romance Studies

‘Santa Evita Montonera’

Envious, therefore empowered

Journal of Romance Studies (2015), 15, (1), 1–28.

Abstract

‘Evita was a saint for us, she was untouchable.’ This description of Evita Perón by one of the founding members of the guerrilla leftist Peronist group the Montoneros succinctly hints at several key features of the group’s ideology: its Catholic roots, its dichotomist pattern and, of course, the constitution of Evita as a revolutionary and compassionate leader, ‘Santa Evita Montonera’. This figure of a female holy combatant, a Joan of Arc-type figure, evokes a complex conception of affects in which the merging of care and anger legitimizes a disempowered female agency. In order to delve into this configuration, the concept of an ‘envious Evita’, described by anti-Peronists as ‘resentful’, should be understood within the framework of the affective turn as deployed by Ahmed, Sedgwick, Berlant and Ngai. It is through an unprejudiced analysis of envy that we might conceptualise an empowered and non-traditional conception of subaltern agency.

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Macón, Cecilia