Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Hispanic Literatures & Linguistics

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Luis A. Marentes

Second Advisor

Jose Ornelas

Third Advisor

María Estela Harretche

Fourth Advisor

Barbara Zecchi

Subject Categories

Film and Media Studies | Latin American History | Latin American Literature


This doctoral dissertation studies Manuel Antín’s Don Segundo Sombra (1969), the cinematographic adaptation of Ricardo Güiraldes celebrated “novela de la tierra” of the same title, in the context of the so called “Revolución Argentina”, the military dictatorship that ruled this country between 1966 and 1973. This investigation seeks to shed light on the political struggle for control of the “gauchesca” literary genre that was taking place at this time in the Argentinean cinematographic field. In a time of rampant nationalism, the different political actors that were vying for political power saw in the “gaucho”, who by then had come to be a symbol of individual freedom and an archetype of Argentinian identity, a vehicle for legitimizing/authorizing their respective ideological discourses and political agendas. In this regard, the study concludes that Antin’s film was instrumental to the empowerment of Juan Carlos Onganía’s de facto government. Key to this political co-opting of Güiraldes text is the film’s conspicuous celebration of Don Segundo Sombra and Fabio Cáceres’ friendship (herdsman and landowner, respectively), which sought to undermine discourses of class struggle advanced, among others, by the Peronist Movement, the so called “Izquierda Nacional”, and the different revolutionary parties and guerrilla groups informed by Marxist and communist doctrines.