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They Used to Call Us Witches

Chilean Exiles, Culture, and Feminism

Julie Shayne

They Used to Call Us Witches is an informative, highly readable account of the role played by Chilean women exiles during the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet from 1973-1990. Sociologist Julie Shayne looks at the movement organized by exiled Chileans in Vancouver, British Columbia, to denounce Pinochet's dictatorship and support those who remained in Chile.

Through the use of extensive interviews, the history is told from the perspective of Chilean women in the exile community established in Vancouver. Shayne tells the very human story of these exiled Chilean women, and in doing so, provides a glimpse into the struggle of other Chilean exile communities around the world. In addition to the Chilean women's activism against the Pinochet dictatorship, the book pays specific attention to their feminist activism. Shayne also shows how both culture and emotions inspired and sustained the women's social and political movements. They Used to Call Us Witches should be read by those interested in social movements, women's studies, feminism, Latin American politics and history, and cultural studies.

For more information about this project, contact Julie Shayne at jshayne@u.washington.edu.
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Lexington Books
Pages: 320Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
978-0-7391-1849-8 • Hardback • December 2009 • $105.00 • (£70.00) - Currently out of stock. Copies will arrive soon.
978-0-7391-1850-4 • Paperback • December 2009 • $41.99 • (£27.95)
978-0-7391-4413-8 • eBook • December 2009 • $38.99 • (£24.95)
Julie Shayne is a senior lecturer at the University of Washington-Bothell and an affiliate associate professor at the University of Washington-Seattle, teaching courses about women, development, and social change in Latin America and the Third World. She is author of The Revolution Question: Feminisms in El Salvador, Chile, and Cuba, 2004, and editor of Taking Risks: Feminist Activism and Research in the Americas, 2014.
They Used to Call Us Witches tells a fascinating and moving story of women in the Chilean Solidarity Movement. It's not the kind of story we've come to expect these days from scholars of social movements—that is, a story of political opportunism and the calculated framing of soundbites. Instead, Shayne tells a story of passionate political and moral commitment. It's a story of how shared political views and a large dose of anger and hope accompanied an amazing group of Chilean women on a journey from exile and despair to solidarity and protest.
Jeff Goodwin, New York University

Julie Shayne's powerful book on Chilean women exiles in Canada offers a new and illuminating perspective on recent Chilean history and the meaning of exile. Shayne discusses, both theoretically and empirically, how culture, gender, and emotion sustained those in exile and contributed to building a transnational solidarity movement.
Margaret Power, Illinois Institute of Technology

Julie Shayne examines Chilean women exiles in Vancouver, British Columbia, through a gendered lens to illuminate the central role of women in the resistance to the Pinochet dictatorship. This ground-breaking study is a must read for anyone interested in Latin American mass exile of the 1970s and 1980s and in women's history.
Thomas C. Wright, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

They Used To Call Us Witches is an inspiring and accessible account of the role of Chilean women exiles in organizing opposition to the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet from Vancouver, British Columbia. Julie Shayne analyzes the role of women in the solidarity movement in the 1970s and 1980s and then looks at their involvement in the subsequent feminist movement of the1990s….Overall, They Used to Call Us Witches tells a deeply compelling story in an accessible way. It also gives us excellent insight into the ways that emotions and culture can impact strategy and continuity in activism. Anyone interested in social movements, women's activism, and Latin America will surely enjoy the book.
Contemporary Sociology

Creatively using theories of social movements, this book points to the role of these women exiles in the powerful international resistance and solidarity movement that put pressure on governments to isolate and denounce Pinochet as a pariah in the community of nations. Through Shayne’s lens we can see also the role that culture played in the formation of that movement. The themes of mourning, survival, solidarity, and shared pain and the music, verses, crafts, songs, and stories all helped to articulate and support the resistance outside and inside Chile. This book is a well presented history of social movements and of Latin America and the Americas and an example of methodological excellence in women’s studies, feminism, and cultural studies.
Latin American Perspectives