Researching Indigeneity and Immigration: Pablo Pastore’s Journey into Argentina’s Archives with IRIS International Research and Training Grant


Pablo Pastore
Pablo Pastore                          Ph.D Student – Spanish Institute for Regional and International Studies, UW Madison

In the summer of 2023, Pablo Pastore embarked on a transformative research journey, thanks to the generous support of the Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS).  IRIS’s International Research and Training Grant for Incoming Graduate Students provided Pablo the opportunity to delve into the rich historical archives of Buenos Aires, Argentina, ultimately expanding his academic work.

The focus in Buenos Aires was to explore the contemporary coverage of  Una excursión a los indios ranqueles by Lucio V. Mansilla, a prominent work from 1870 that had remained relatively unexplored in the academic world. This literary masterpiece became a central element of at least one chapter of Pablo’s Ph.D. dissertation. For six weeks, he immersed himself in local archives, including the National Library, the Museo Mitre, and the Library of Congress. His journey led him to uncover a treasure trove of historical newspapers dating from 1869 to 1871. These invaluable sources, such as La Tribuna (where Mansilla initially published his book as a series of letters), La Prensa, El Nacional, El Mosquito, La Revista de Buenos Aires, La Revista del Río de la Plata, and La Revista Argentina, were yet to be digitized.

This experience marked his first foray into archival research, a long-anticipated milestone in his academic career. He acquired essential skills, learning how to navigate extensive archives, interact with specialized librarians, and optimize his reading habits to process the vast amount of material they needed to cover. During his stay in Buenos Aires, he meticulously collected over two hundred photocopies and photographs of pages containing intriguing and relevant information. The documents spanned a broad spectrum of topics, from political discussions regarding frontier conflicts with indigenous groups in Patagonia to debates on the necessity of government support for European immigration to Argentina. These materials would serve as the foundation of their conceptual framework, enabling him to dissect the socio-political discourse of that era. Furthermore, he discovered that Lucio V. Mansilla was a figure of tremendous public interest during the time, with his activities widely covered in both the standard press and the political arena. This ensured that any new works by Mansilla enjoyed considerable circulation within the vibrant Buenos Aires cultural scene of the time.

“Thank you for the opportunities this grant allowed me,” said Pablo, as his research journey in Buenos Aires has been instrumental in advancing his academic pursuits. Indeed, he looks forward to contributing many new insights to the scholarly community in his very promising future.

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