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Paula M Alonso-Gortari Faculty Member


I am a Historian of Latin America focusing on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I am currently the Director of the Latin American and Hemispheric Studies at George Washington University and Associate Professor of History and International Affairs. My academic career has spanned three countries: the UK, where I obtained my Ph.D at Oxford University and held my first academic appointments (at the Universities of Bristol and Warwick); Argentina, my home country, where I became Associate Professor at the Universidad de San Andrés; and the U.S. where I have held academic appointments at the Universities of Virginia and Johns Hopkins before joining the faculty at The George Washington University. My research has focused on the political history of Argentina, encompassing three main aspects: the traditional arena of institutions, political parties, citizenship and electoral processes; the cultural world that includes the press, pamphlets, images, rituals, practices and representations; and the ideological struggles to impose a particular vision of society. I explored these topics in two books. Between Revolution and the Ballot Box. The Origins of the Argentine Radical Party in the 1890s, (Cambridge University Press 2000, paperback 2006; translated into Spanish, Ed. Sudamericana/Univ. de San Andrés, 2000), offers an original understanding of the emergence of oldest national political party in Argentina. Jardines Privados, Legitimaciones Públicas. El Partido Autonomista Nacional en Argentina, 1880-1900 (Buenos Aires, Edhasa, 2010) unravels the internal dynamics of this dominant ruling party as well as it public discourse, offering a model of how to study hegemonic parties so common to Latin America (and elsewhere). I have also published several journal articles on related topics (including in The Hispanic American Historical Review and The Journal of Latin American Studies) and a number of book chapters. I have edited Construcciones impresas. Panfletos, diarios y revistas en la formación de los estados nacionales en América Latin, 1820-1920 (Buenos Aires, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2003) a collection of papers which reflects my interests in the role of print culture in Latin America and, most recently, I co-edited El sistema federal argentino. Debates y coyunturas (1860-1910), a book on the Argentine federal system with papers from an interdisciplinary conference between historians and political scientists held in Buenos Aires. I am currently writing A Concise History of Argentina to be published by Cambridge University Press. My research has received external financial support from different sources. I was awarded (jointly with Professor Charles Jones), a three year, 65,000 pounds, grant from the UK's Leverhulme Trust. In Argentina, I received support from the CONICET (National Science Research Agency), the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Fundación Antorchas (a prestigious private foundation). In the US, I was awarded funded visiting research positions by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University, and by the Center for Latin American Studies and at the University of Maryland. I have served the profession in a variety of ways. As an active member of the American Historical Association I have just finished a three-year service in the Nominating Committee; I have served a three-year term as a Committee Member of the Albert J. Beveridge Award (the final year as chair); and I was also a founding member of the Committee to endow the Frederick Katz award for the best book published on the history of Latin America and the Caribbean. I have also served in the Latin American Studies Association as co-chair of the History and Historiography track in the XXXII International Congress, and was Secretary of the Southern Cone Committee. Besides directing the Latin American and Hemispheric Studies Program (MA and BA) at The George Washington University, I have been a member of its Advisory Board, and a member of the Undergraduate Committee of the History Department. I also served as faculty representative of the Student Services Strategic Planning Subcommittee at ESIA. At the Universidad de San Andrés, I helped to launch and coordinated the Postgraduate Program in History, which includes a Masters and a Doctorate and I was co-chair of the Faculty Senate. My teaching career has included a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses and seminars on Modern Latin American History, Modern European History, World History, Argentine History, Latin American Revolutions, and Labor Movements in Latin America. Teaching at universities in the three countries – the US, Argentina and the UK - has taught me how to adapt successfully to the different educational culture of each institution and to the needs and potential of their students. I find the students at George Washington University particularly engaging given their genuine interest in learning about different regions and countries and I also appreciate how increasingly international the student population has become, both in terms of the high number of students from other countries and the international experience of GWU students, a testament of the ESIA’s commitment to form global leaders. My own background and extensive contacts with universities and other organizations in Latin America allows me to contribute to this process.

Research Areas

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