Economic crisis supplies Goldberg with project fodder

Jennifer Greenstein Altmann

Princeton NJ -- Senior Jonathan Goldberg will spend next year finding out how the citizens of Argentina are reacting to their country's economic crisis. Goldberg will be in Argentina as the winner of the Martin Dale '53 Fellowship, which awards $25,000 to an outstanding Princeton senior for a year-long independent project.

Jonathan Goldberg


"The immense luxury of the Dale Fellowship is that I can go out every day and spend time with people, talk to them and earn their trust, and really learn how they see national problems and how that fits in with their lives," Goldberg said.

The project will try to capture the ways that a national crisis seeps into the daily lives of regular people. "What actions -- economic, political or otherwise -- are taken to cope with the crisis?" Goldberg wrote in his fellowship application. "What jokes do people tell to make sense of the changes? Where do they see themselves and their nation in 10 years?"

Goldberg is planning to spend extended periods of time with several groups of Argentines, and he also will travel to a rural province and an industrial city to supplement his research in Buenos Aires. Goldberg intends to write up his findings in a series of essays that he hopes to publish.

A native of Manalapan, N.J., Goldberg became interested in Argentina after visiting the country during his junior year, when he spent a semester in Chile. His five-day trip to Argentina convinced him that he wanted to spend more time there.

"It is a country that is intensely introspective," he said. "You go into an Argentine bookstore, and there are tons of books about Argentine history. It's a place that sort of grasps you and pulls you in."

Goldberg will approach the project with a journalist's eye, seasoned by working as a senior writer for The Daily Princetonian and as an intern for The New York Observer. In 2000 he won an Edwin Ferris Grant, which awards $2,500 for summer internships in writing, publishing or journalism.

A Woodrow Wilson School major who is interested in literary nonfiction, Goldberg is not certain what he will do after the fellowship. "I have a lot of interests," he said, "and I'm not sure how they will all come together."


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