Maria Elena Barral was born in 1964 in Bahia Blanca, Argentina. She holds a PhD in History from University Pablo de Olavide (Spain), and is a researcher at CONICET (National Council of Scientific and Technological Research, Argentina) and American History Professor at National University of Lujan (UNLu, Argentina). For the past ten years, she has dedicated herself to the study of religion and the Church – and its political relationships – in the region of Rio de la Plata during the 18th and 19th centuries. She has been a guest professor at universities in Peru, Bolivia, Spain and France. In Argentina, she directs or co-directs research projects at UNLu, CONICET and ANPCYT (National Agency of Scientific and Technological Promotion). She has published books and articles in national and international journals specialised in her research topics.
My research project focuses on religion, clergy, and politics in Río de la Plata between the end of 18th and middle of 19th centuries. As in other spaces in the euro Atlantic world, in Río de la Plata during the first half of 19th century, there were processes of secularisation at different levels, with diverse intensity and modality, varying significantly depending on social or regional context.
My research project focuses on the problem of politics-religion relationships and the secularisation in the first half of 19th century. It is built around three axes : social mediation and clergy politics; catholic religion and building political legitimacy; catholic religion and war.