Shannon Dowd, visiting professor in Niagara University’s Department of Modern and Classical Languages, published an article, “Moth-Eaten Maps and Empty Wells: Augusto Roa Bastos, Augusto Céspedes, and the Chaco War Archive,” in the Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, Volume 28, 2019 - Issue 2.
Through an examination of classic Chaco War texts, like Augusto Roa Bastos’s novel “Son of Man” and Augusto Céspedes’s story “The Well” alongside lesser-studied maps from the 1929 arbitration court, Dowd’s article shows the holes and gaps inherent in the border between Bolivia and Paraguay. She explores physical limits imposed during the 1932–1935 Chaco War, as well as the historical and cultural limits that rippled out from decisions about the border. Paying close attention to omissions, revisions, and translations, especially in Roa Bastos, the article argues that the Chaco border shows the undecidability of ground as it escapes textual and cartographic definition.
Dowd earned a Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Michigan, an M.A. in modern languages and critical theory from the University of Nottingham, and a B.A. in Spanish and comparative literature from the University of Michigan. Her research centers on 20th century Latin American literature, armed conflict, and critical and political theory. She is currently working on a book manuscript on 20th century Central and South American border wars that aims to expand the scope of border studies. Her work has also appeared in Revista de Estudios Hispánicos.