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Anthony Di Fiore, Chair SAC 4.102, Mailcode C3200 78712 • 512-471-4206

Spring 2009

ANT 322M • U.S.-Mexican Border Debates

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
29819 TTh
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
BEN 1.102

Course Description

The course engages a series of historical and contemporary debates on the U.S.-Mexican border, in order to understand the border region and the United States and Mexico as mutually dependent countries. Those debates encompass struggles over land, water, history, identity, citizenship, economy and security, as they play out in everyday life and in policy arenas such as cross-border commerce and border enforcement. Students will be asked to consider the integral role of place and space in these struggles: How does an issue look from the American versus the Mexican side? Should the border be considered a local, national, or international space? The idea of multiple perspectives is central to the class, which aims to help students understand how territorial regions are constructed historically, culturally and politically. Students will be expected to gather information on all sides of an issue but will also be encouraged to take well-informed positions, since contested regions like the U.S.-Mexico border demand political engagement. Both research and personal experience will be considered relevant as students stake claims and positions. Issues to be discussed include: " The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the creation of the U.S.-Mexico border " Immigration and debates over citizenship and belonging " Border security and enforcement efforts " Poverty and class " Cross-border trade and commerce " Language practices and linguistic identity " Land rights and development " Environmental concerns, including struggles for control of water


" U.S.-Mexico Borderlands: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, Oscar Martínez " Operation Gatekeeper: The Rise of the 'Illegal Alien' and the Making of the U.S.-Mexico Boundary, Joseph Nevis " Crossing Borders, Reinforcing Borders: Social Categories, Metaphors, and Narrative Identities on the U.S.-Mexico Frontier, Pablo Vila


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