Skip to content

The French version of the site is currently undergoing maintenance work and is unavailable.

Members' research

We invite members of the society to discuss their research or to announce their latest publication through a short blog post.

María Inés Tato

Argentine society and First World War: nationalism, associationism, civic mobilizations and intellectual debates

The general aim of this project is the analysis of the ideological and political impact of the First World War on Argentine society, from the perspective of social history, political history and cultural history. During wartime there existed a close interrelation between democratization of politics and the expansion of nationalism in Argentina, expressed in an intense associationism, a massive social mobilization and a sharp polarization of public opinion around the war. Despite of that, in general, scarce historiographical attention was paid to this topic, usually analyzed from an economic and diplomatic stance. The marginal character of this subject does not constitute a peculiarity of Argentine historiography. In fact, the same deficit is observable in other Latin American historiographies, for which the First World War does not seem to establish a relevant landmark neither for national or continental narratives nor for the formulation of their historical periodization.
The achievements of my research have mainly consisted in: a) the clarification of the phases and rhythms of the responses of Argentine society to the Great War; b) the analysis of the demands and arguments employed by the two sides of public opinion: the so called rupturists and neutralists; c) the reconstruction of the repertoires of collective actions put into practice, including liturgies, the use of propaganda and press, the languages and slogans, the use of public space; d) the study of the repercussions of the war in the principal immigrant communities resident in Argentina, shedding light – through their particular reactions to the call of their fatherland of origin – on the nature of their cultural identity and their integration to the cosmopolitan Argentine society. Currently my research focuses on the study of the images of Europe and Latin America associated with the definition of Argentina’s national identity that appeared in the public debates during the war. The particular objectives will be to study: a) the circulation of ideas on the war between Argentina, Europe and Latin America through diverse cultural mediators (the belligerent nations’ materials of propaganda, press, intellectuals, war correspondents), and their local appropriation and resignification; b) the images of the warring nations elaborated by Argentine intellectuals –Alliadophiles or Germanophiles-, and their evolution along the conflict; c) the models of cultural connections of Argentine identity underlying those positions (Panlatinism, Panhispanism, Panamericanism).