I am an assistant professor of Latin American history at Berry College in Rome, GA. My area of expertise is 20th Century Latin America, with specific emphasis on the Cold War, militarism, urbanism, and environmentalism.
I am currently working on a manuscript entitled Beyond the Dirty War: Urban Reforms and Protest in Buenos Aires, 1976-1983. This study seeks to expand scholars’ conceptualization of the last military dictatorship in Argentina by looking at its agenda outside of the Dirty War. This campaign of state terror resulted in the deaths of 30,000 citizens, but that was not the only action taken by the regime as it worked to transform Argentina. I examine a comprehensive set of urban reforms initiated in the capital by the military’s municipal representatives. The projects included a network of seven urban highways, a green belt surrounding the city, revamped trash collection, renovation of parks, and many other smaller, complimentary activities. By remaking the city, the military hoped to control the population more effectively and to create a new national image, one based on modernity, stability, and efficiency. Residents of Buenos Aires reacted strongly and their outspokenness highlights the limitations of the state’s coercion and terror. Porteños found ways to speak against the regime without fear of harsh reprisals. The conclusions drawn by this study identify areas of dissent and dialogue and celebrates the agency of the city’s residents in this dark time.
A portion of this research has appeared in the edited volume, Beyond the Eagle’s Shadow: New Histories of Latin America’s Cold War, and the journal Urban History.