I am an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of British Columbia, and I received my PhD from York University in 2013. My research focuses on migration, health, education, and religion in the Americas. At UBC, I teach courses on the Americas and global history. I am editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association and chair of the Latin American Studies program at UBC.
I am the principal investigator of two SSHRC-funded projects. Healing the Nation examines the role of immigrant-run hospitals and mutual aid societies in providing healthcare in Buenos Aires. Grounds for Exclusion highlights the many ways that bureaucrats, politicians, and nationalist agitators in Argentina developed both formal and informal methods to exclude a range of groups based in race, gender, health, and ability. Early parts of this research have appeared in the Hispanic American Historical Review.
My first monograph, To Belong in Buenos Aires: Germans, Argentines, and the Rise of a Pluralist Society (Stanford University Press, 2018) and its Spanish-language translation Ser de Buenos Aires: Alemanes, argentinos y el surgimiento de una sociedad plural, 1880-1930 (Editorial Biblos, 2019) examine the activities, fantasies, and frustrations of the German speakers who sought to create a lasting community in Buenos Aires and those who challenged that project. Drawing on dozens of private and public archives in Buenos Aires and Germany, I focus in particular on social welfare, education, and religion, and I analyze the efforts of German-speaking immigrants to carve out a place for themselves in the broader landscape of an extremely culturally plural society. The broad group of institutions that German-speaking and other immigrants created in Buenos Aires had a significant impact on how other social actors such as the Argentine state, the Catholic Church, and Spanish-speaking philanthropists involved themselves with citizens and residents of the city. The approach offers new perspectives on broader topics of liberalism, nationalism, and language in the Americas.
I am the co-editor of Race and Transnationalism in the Americas (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2021). The ten chapters examine the ways that race and its categorization have functioned as organizing frameworks for cultural, political, and social inclusion and exclusion in the Americas. It argues that transnational forces have fundamentally shaped visions of racial difference and ideas of race and national belonging throughout the Americas, from the late nineteenth century to the present.