During the second half of the nineteenth century, Buenos Aires became one of the main recipients of European immigration, which led to the city’s spectacular growth and fundamental urban transformations. In recent decades, historians have increasingly viewed this migration through the lens of Argentine elites’ discourses of “whitening,” but they have rarely examined the concrete urban effects that European immigration had for the city’s Afro-descendants, who in the 1830s still constituted more than a quarter of the population. This talk attempts to do as much by looking at the formation of a Black neighborhood through real estate acquisition, as well as the ensuing process of dispossession, in order to derive lessons about the broader history of capitalism and inequality in the nineteenth-century Atlantic.
Michael Goebel is the Einstein Professor of Global History at Freie Universität Berlin and a Fellow at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg global dis:connect, Munich. Following his work about anticolonialism in interwar Paris, he became increasingly interested in global urban history, with a focus on the history of racial segregation in port cities. In pursuit of this interest, he is the Principal Investigator of the SNSF-funded project Patchwork Cities.
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