I am an Assistant 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 a co-editor of the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association.
My 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 currently completing an co-edited book entitled Race and Transnationalism in the Americas (forthcoming with the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2021). My chapter in the volume uncovers the unknown history of Japanese, Chinese, and South Asian immigration to Argentina before the First World War. The arrival of small groups of laborers sparked a huge reaction from Argentine politicians and immigration officials. They immediately attempted to shield the country from future arrivals through a combination of border restriction, labor market exclusion, and diplomatic exchanges with British and Japanese imperial authorities. Engaging with Argentine debates about race that usually focus on the relationship between European immigration and peoples of indigenous and African heritage, I show that the dominant vision of Argentina as a white, European nation was built not only on transatlantic immigration but also on Asian exclusion. I also recently published an article on South Asian migration and exclusion in Argentina in the Hispanic American Historical Review.
I have published an article about migration and social welfare in Argentina in the Journal of Social History and another one about philanthropy and gender at the German hospital of Buenos Aires in Estudios Migratorios Latinoamericanos. I have also published about the rise of the Commonwealth in the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, on bilingual education in Ontario in the Canadian Historical Review, and on German-language religious networks in the Great Lakes region in the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association.
I am the co-editor of Making Citizens in Argentina (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017). It illustrates how the Argentine state and other social groups have contested and defined the meaning of citizenship over the course of the twentieth century. It shows how citizenship is an expansive and malleable concept worthy of analysis. It is a term that appears in sources and historiography, but its meaning is all too often taken for granted. I am also the co-editor of Entangling Migration History: Borderlands and Transnationalism in the United States and Canada (University Press of Florida, 2015). The book explores how people, ideas, and policies transcended the political boundaries of the United States and Canada. It brings to light the value of situating the history of migration to the United States and Canada in broader comparative, borderland, and transnational contexts.