Argentina: Race in a Raceless Nation


ACLS Fellowship Program


Modern Languages


“Argentina: Race in a Raceless Nation” examines two pivotal moments of Argentine racial history: the making of a white (and therefore “raceless”) nation in the nineteenth century and the multicultural turn of the new millennium. Two main questions guide the project. First, how did a nation formed by diverse peoples achieve a largely unquestioned national identity? Second, what are the implications of Argentina’s recent embrace of multiculturalism? By analyzing an array of cultural manifestations, this project offers a panoramic understanding of the mechanisms of racial narratives and ideologies in these two decisive periods. It argues that despite state practices that ensured the statistical and symbolic absence of non-whites throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, cultural discourses played a key role in identifying and constructing racialized bodies to institute a strict racial hierarchy. In today's multiculturalism, cultural discourses mediate between white hegemony and the re-emergence of non-white subjectivities.