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TU Berlin

Inhalt des Dokuments

Antonio Carbone


Research Assistant, FU Berlin


Buenos Aires in the Epidemic Years: Disease, Nature, Barbarism and Civilization. 1867-1874.

In the years between 1867 and 1874, Buenos Aires was struck by an impressive succession of epidemic diseases. In 1867, cholera reached for the first time the southern shore of the River Plate and ravaged the city for two years. In 1871, following an ascendant dramaturgy, the porteños were struck by a massive yellow fever epidemic that killed almost a tenth of the city’s population and left deep scars in the space and memory of the city. In 1874 cholera broke out again in the city showing the impotence of contemporary medical and hygiene theory.

During these ‘epidemic years’, Buenos Aires was struggling to gain its position as hegemonic capital of the Argentinean confederation, fighting to consolidate its geographic role as trading and industrial intermediary between the green pampa prairies and the Atlantic World. The epidemics represent a major crisis moment in the construction of the city as mediator between the pampa and the world. Both places that represented this connection, the slaughterhouses – as place where the products of the pampa were processed – and the harbor – as place where the goods were sold and shipped – became through their polluting and spreading of contagions potential highly controversial. My dissertation analyzes these epidemic crises and contextualizes them in the colonial tension between urban Buenos Aires and its imagined natural ‘other’. My work aims to contribute to the deconstruction of the historical dichotomy between ‘urban’ and ‘natural’. The special position of Buenos Aires in the context of the colonial/post-colonial relationships as well as its semi-peripheral position in the economic world-system makes of it an extraordinary interesting case that goes beyond the classical global north/global south dichotomy.



Since May 2012
PhD Candidate in History: “Buenos Aires in the Epidemic Years: Disease, Nature, Barbarism and Civilization. 1867-1874.” Advised by Michael Goebel (FU Berlin) and Dorothee Brantz (TU Berlin)

May 2012 - May 2015
DFG-Fellow, International Graduate Program “the World in the City”, Technische Universität, Berlin.
PhD Candidate, Technische Universität, Berlin (advised by: Dorothee Brantz).

December 2011
Master of Arts in Historical Urban Studies, Technische Universität, Berlin.

July 2008
Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Università “La Sapienza”, Rome.

September 2006 – September 2007
Erasmus Scholarship, Philosophy and History, Freie Universität, Berlin.


Since November 2015
Editor of the Academic Blog “Global Urban History” [www.globalurbanhistory.com]

Since October 2015
Research Assistant, FU Berlin

February 2012 – June 2012
Organizational assistant – conference Kulturen des Bruchs – Kulturstiftung des Bundes. Berlin

Since 2010
Creation of the initiative Berliniamo!
Tour guide, historical and political education programs for Italian schools. Berlin.

September 2009 – December 2010
Student assistant – Center for Metropolitan Studies, Technische Universität, Berlin


2015 Blog Entry “Historicizing ‘Urbanity’: Buenos Aires in the Epidemic Years” http://globalurbanhistory.com/2015/12/03/historicizing-urbanity-buenos-aires-in-the-epidemic-years/

Conference Report: Metropolitan Temporalities, 20.11.2014 – 22.11.2014 Berlin, in: H-Soz-Kult, 29.04.2015,<http://www.hsozkult.de/conferencereport/id/tagungsberichte-5946>. 


October 2014
‘There is no reason for fear’. Emotions and control in Buenos Aires first cholera epidemic. At Urban History Association Conference Philadelphia, USA.

October 2014
‘No hay motivo de miedo’: los vecinos en la epidémia de cholera de 1867.
At VI Taller de Historia Social de la Salud y la Enfermedad, Rosario, Argentina.

July 2014
Buenos Aires in the time of Cholera. Fear, compassion and urban control.
At Epidemic Entanglements, Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main.


January 2013
New York City / USA
(Columbia University)

February 2013 – May 2013
Buenos Aires / Argentina
(Archival research)

January 2014
New York City / USA
(Columbia University)

February 2014 – April 2014
Buenos Aires / Argentina
(Archival Research)

September 2014
New York City / USA
(Columbia University)


SoSe 2016
“Einführung in die Geschichte Lateinamerikas: lokale Strukturen und globale Ströme”. Freie Universität Berlin.

SoSe 2014
“Städtebau und Architektur im Faschismus” in Katharina Schembs’ Übung “Kulturgeschichte des italienischen Faschismus“. Humboldt-Universität, Berlin.

WiSe 2013/14
with Lisa Vollmer. Part concerning theories in “Methoden, Quellen und Theorien moderner Stadtforschung”. Technische Universität, Berlin.

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