Current Institutional Affiliation
Assistant Professor, History, University of Tennessee / Chattanooga

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2014
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, Indiana University / Bloomington
Remaking Argentina: Labor and Citizenship During the Proceso de Reorganización Nacional

This study focuses on the enactment and effects of labor and economic policies during Argentina's last military dictatorship, the Proceso de Reorganización Nacional (1976-1983). Emphasizing the state's efforts to reorganize Argentine society, I examine the impact of these new measures on the day-to-day experiences of workers from both the private and the public sectors, as well as low-level government bureaucrats. Despite an extensive and nuanced historiography on state violence during this period, we know very little about the ways in which the Proceso operated as a government, or the consequences that its reorganizational product had for Argentines' everyday lives. Concentrating on its labor and economic policies, I argue that the military regime attempted to establish a new praxis of citizenship by restructuring the parameters of work. Using archival sources from around Argentina together with oral histories of former workers from various industries, I will examine the changing relationship between individuals and the state, through the lens of work, as it played out on a daily basis. My research situates Argentina at the end of the 1970s within a broader conversation about the possibilities and limitations faced by the ruling junta with respect to political practice. Given the historical importance of work in Argentina as a fundamental criterion for citizenship and political voice, I contend that the Proceso, in fact, sought to redraw the ideological boundaries of the nation and redefine what the role of "the worker" would be within this new construct. This dissertation intends to explore the borders of this new Argentina which the military envisioned. Critically, it also engages the ways in which workers from various backgrounds and economic sectors received and challenged that vision—and, just as importantly, the ways in which they did not.