Autor: Eric Robert Johns
Tango histories situate the origins of the genre in the 1880s, with couples dancing to an ensemble of guitar, flute, and violin. These histories claim that the guitar disappears from the genre in the 1910s. While scholarly and popular writing on the tango is extensive, little work has focused on the guitar. Recent interventions by Lorena Burec have demonstrated the continous presence of tango guitar. However, these interventions have not attempted to explain why authors of tango history claim the guitar disappears from the genre.
This dissertation interrogates the discursive disappearance of the instrument in the literature on tango history. This research reads tango histories published between 1955and 1999, in and outside of Argentina, alongside archival research that challenges the dominant narratives and constructs a genealogy of the disappearance. Through critical historiography, this dissertation interrogates Argentine nationalism as globally constructed.