Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, History and Political Science, Wingate University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2006
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, Ohio State University
Margins of the Mahjar: Arabic-speaking Immigrants in Argentina, 1880-1946

By the time of Argentina's centenary in 1910, over 50,000 Ottoman subjects from Greater Syria (present-day Syria, Lebanon, historical Palestine and parts of Iraq and Turkey) had settled in the River Plate, established businesses, published newspapers, founded cultural organizations and entered into Argentine society. The community doubled in size by 1915 and at the end of the decade was the most important commercial group in provinces such as Tucuman. To understand the migration of Arabic-speaking people and their adaptation to and assimilation in Argentina, I should like to examine the intersection of local Argentine realities and transnational politics, of competing value systems and socially-defined gender roles, and of economic opportunities and limitations based on social and economic class. By examining these intersections, I would be able to engage important questions about Argentine socio-political history. In addition, I should like to address larger issues that concern migration to the Americas and to examine how transnational politics and ideologies impact immigrant groups far from their homelands. I hypothesize different elements of the Arabic-speaking collective possessed competing notions of community, independent views of politics and society, and divergent priorities. My inclusion of a distinctive source base is pivotal to understanding this highly fractious group of people.