CEHTI Director: Dr. Hernán Camarero (UBA - Conicet)
The Centro de Estudios Históricos de los Trabajadores y las Izquierdas (Center for Historical Studies on Workers and the Left, CEHTI) is an autonomous and self-financed research center devoted to the history of labor and the left, based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The CEHTI promotes and coordinates several research groups, prepares conferences and lectures by guest speakers, and organizes workshops, seminars and teacher training courses. It also has a growing library and archive with a collection of books and historical sources, open to the general public.
The CEHTI brings together dozens of researchers and lecturers based on the country’s most important educational and scientific institutions, such as the University of Buenos Aires and the National Research Council (CONICET). Although its offices are located in Buenos Aires, the center has correspondent members in other cities, such as Tucumán, Mendoza, Mar del Plata, and Rosario. The CEHTI forges its route with the support of its own members and friends, and is open to those students—both undergraduate and graduate—and scholars who wish to join. It seeks to promote collaboration and a fruitful dialogue with other spaces of intellectual and cultural production.
Twice a year, the CEHTI publishes the journal Archivos de historia del movimiento obrero y la izquierda and has put forward a book series (“Archivos. Estudios de Historia del movimiento obrero y la izquierda”), in collaboration with Imago Mundi, that already has six titles, with three more in preparation. Moreover, on a regular basis the CEHTI organizes an open congress (Jornadas de historia del movimiento obrero y la izquierda), putting together leading specialists on the field.
The CEHTI draws upon the multiple perspectives of social, political, cultural, intellectual and gender history, enriched by interdisciplinary and renovated approaches. The boundaries of our research interests are intended to be generous, even deliberately ambitious. Argentina is, of course, one of the most important focuses, with its rich labor movement experience and a swift development of leftist currents. But we intend to overcome these limits, not only towards the Latin American region but also on a global level. The CEHTI aims to study other countries’ realities and promote the work of foreign authors, translating, discussing and re-appropriating their best contributions.
This global approach is motivated by several reasons. The most obvious one is the need to capture the global dynamics in the action of the subjects we explore —often with explicit “internationalist” purposes—, as well as to consider the increasingly claimed transnational and comparative analysis of different experiences and cases. But also because a narrow nationalism was one of the factors that affected historical studies of the labor movement in Argentina. This parochialism often worshiped local exceptionalities, ignored the obvious links between native actors and the outside, or was a way to disregard theoretical and empirical improvements that historiography and social sciences in general were making abroad.
As the British historian Edward P. Thompson argued in the mid-1970s: “Socialist intellectuals must occupy a territory that is, without conditions, theirs: their own journals, their own theoretical and practical centers; places where nobody works to be awarded titles or chairs, but for the transformation of society; places where criticism and self-criticism lasts, but also of mutual help and exchange of theoretical and practical knowledge, places that prefigure the society of the future in a certain way”. Encouraged by these convictions, we invite fellow travelers to share this journey.