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Political Landscapes of Buenos Aires: Neoliberalism and the Struggle for Alternatives

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Term Offered: 
A bird's-eye-view of Buenos Aires depicting the different geographies of the city
CHID Argentina 2019
Approximate Dates of Instruction: 
June 24, 2019 to August 23, 2019
Application Deadline: 
March 3, 2019
Info Session: Monday, January 14, 3:00-4:00, Padelford C101

Co-sponsored by the Department of Geography—coursework counts towards the Geography major/minor. Now includes Writing credit.

This program will provide students the opportunity to study the interplay between the enforcement of neoliberal measures and civil society's actions of resistance in the culturally eclectic and politically vibrant city of Buenos Aires. We will explore the ways in which the political landscape of the city is crisscrossed by social and political movements that contest and question the legitimacy of the neoliberal agenda. By focusing on different moments in the political economy of Buenos Aires in the last four decades, we will examine the relationship between changes in the materiality of the city and contestations taking place over time.

Students will take classes in the space of a grassroots organization –a popular assembly—in the old neighborhood of San Telmo, attend talks at different universities in the city and greater Buenos Aires, and engage with different organizations contesting neoliberal agendas. We will also walk the city and visit sites of memory, spaces of conspicuous consumption characteristic of the 1990s, recuperated factories run by their workers and gentrified former working-class neighborhoods. Students will learn to look beyond the built environment to uncover the struggles and conflicts, the social actors, and the imaginaries mobilized in constituting the city. The program also includes a stay in the city of Rosario (Province of Santa Fe) where contestations against business-oriented political agendas–and the local government’s own response–differently shape urban space. 

The program will be directed by Ph.D. Mónica Farías (Institute of Geography, University of Buenos Aires) and Ph.C. Elizabeth Shoffner (University of Washington), both geographers with ample experience researching and participating in activism in urban settings in Argentina.

Learn more on the program website.

  • CHID 472A: The Political Economy of "Modern" Argentina (5 credits, I&S, Writing)
  • CHID 472B: Contemporary Social Movements in Argentina (5 credits I&S)
  • CHID 472C: Independent Project (5 credits I&S)
Fulfills Requirements: 
CHID Cultural and Historical Engagement
CHID Power & Difference
I&S Credit
Total Program Fees: 

*Note that the fees stated above do not include some additional costs, including, but not limited to: airfare, UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.64/day), and personal spending money. Remember that these costs will differ by program. Be sure to read our Fees, Financing, and Withdrawal information for details about the fee structure and payment schedule.