Job Alert: Chicana/o Studies, Loyola Marymount

Dear readers, we missed this announcement from a few weeks ago, but wanted to make you are aware of it just in case. Loyola Marymount University’s Department of Chicana/o Studies is conducting a search for two candidates, one who will enter the faculty as an assistant professor and the other as an associate professor. The positions are scheduled to begin by August 2017.

For the position of associate professor, the department is looking for individuals with a PhD in social sciences or a related interdisciplinary field. They are particularly interested in scholars from the fields of Psychology, Economics, Urban Studies, Environmental studies, and Sociology. The preferred candidates must “have a demonstrated ability to teach a variety of courses in Chicana/o and Latina/o studies that include quantitative research methods at the introductory undergraduate level, though candidates who use and can teach qualitative methods also are encouraged to apply.”

For the position of assistant professor, the department is seeking applicants who have completed a PhD by the time of hire with experience in comparative ethnic studies. This call for candidates is open in terms of discipline.

The teaching load is 2-2-2-3 spread across two years for tenure-track faculty. Also, from the announcement:

To apply, please send a letter of application, curriculum vitae, two sample syllabi, writing sample, and three letters of recommendation. Review of applicants will begin immediately, with a final application deadline of November 1, 2016 or until filled. Application materials (in pdf format) should be emailed to (preferred) or to mailing address:

Eliza Rodriguez y Gibson, Ph.D., Chair

Department of Chicana/o Studies

Loyola Marymount University

1 LMU Drive, Suite 4700

Los Angeles, CA  90045

For more information about LMU or the positions, visit the announcement page at H-Net.

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A conversation with Marc Simon Rodriguez, author of “Rethinking the Chicano Movement” (Routledge, 2015)

In Rethinking the Chicano Movement (Routledge, 2015), Marc Simon Rodriguez surveys some of the most recent scholarship on the Chicana/o Civil Rights Movement, situating the struggle within the broader context of the 1960s and 1970s, and assessing its ethos and legacy. Illustrating the movement’s national scope, Dr. Rodriguez highlights: electoral activism in Crystal City Texas, the Farmworker Movement in the California’s San Joaquin Valley, community and educational reform efforts in Denver and Los Angeles, and the rise of Chicano media and arts throughout urban and rural communities across the country. Whereas previous generations of scholars sought to distance the Chicana/o mobilizations from the Mexican Americanist movement of the 30s, 40s, 50s, and early 60s, Rodriguez correctly asserts that El Movimiento blended practical reformist goals with a militant ethos. Youthful in character, determined to establish community control, and impatient for change, Rodriguez concludes that The Movement’s ultimate legacy was indeed profound as it established “the infrastructure to accommodate the Latino demographic revolution of the late twentieth century.”

Listen to the full conversation at the New Books in Latino Studies website, or subscribe and download via iTunes or Stitcher.

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CFP: Native American and Indigenous Studies Association Annual Meeting

The Native American and Indigenous Studies Association has launched a call for paper for it’s ninth annual meeting, which will occur in Vancouver, British Columbia, from June 22-24, 2017. The organizers are accepting proposals for individual papers, panels, roundtables, and film screenings. Submissions of a broad range of diverse and interdisciplinary scholarly topics are encouraged.  More from the announcement:

All persons working in Native American and Indigenous Studies are invited and encouraged to apply. Proposals are welcome from faculty and students in colleges, universities, and tribal colleges; from community-based scholars and elders; and from professionals working in the field. We especially encourage proposals relating to Indigenous community-driven scholarship.

Visit NAISA’s conference website for additional information, including how to apply.

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Job Alert: American Studies, CSU Fullerton

Dear readers, the Department of American Studies at California State University, Fullerton has launched a job search for two positions at the assistant professor rank to join the faculty in August 2017. The announcement is open to a wide range of scholars, including specialists in borderlands studies.

The individuals hired will need to be able to teach courses on American Studies Theory and Methods to undergraduate and advanced students. They must also show effective teaching experience and be able to teach American culture from a historical context. Dedication to scholarship and service are important. The deadline to submit an application is September 23, 2016.

For more information, or to apply, follow the link.

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Pedagogy Notes: Teaching North American Borderlands History Online

This is the third and final installment in our summer pedagogy series. We invite you to join the discussion in our comments section at the bottom of the post.

This past summer, I taught an upper-division/graduate readings course on North American Borderlands History online for Western New Mexico University. Teaching history online presents unique opportunities and challenges. On the one hand, digital tools as simple as LMS assignment submission systems and email provide direct lines of communication with students that don’t always exist as readily in face-to-face settings where assignment feedback can often be somewhat one sided. The challenge is that although I have more direct and interactive means of discussing assignments and course concepts with students in the online classroom, they often fail to engage those opportunities.

In order to make online teaching feel less like a correspondence course, I assign Twitter, blogging, and an online timeline platform at to engage students in unique assignments that require them to use their skills of critically analyzing and discussing the monographs, articles, and primary sources that we are working on as a class.

I provide this background to help you get a sense of the type of “virtual classroom” that we built in our North American Borderlands class. This past summer, we worked through several monographs, an anthology, and assorted articles at the intersection where traditional analog historical publications and the digital world meet. As an additional challenge/opportunity, only three students enrolled in the class so we constructed a very tight learning community. Our course hashtag was #Hist480.

The first week of the course covered the usual syllabus review, introduction to course tools, and personal discussions, along with the requirement of creating a blog post that addressed what types of things come to each student’s mind when he/she hears the term “North American Borderlands.” That activity provided an excellent jumping off point for the rest of the class. During the second week, we read several articles (you can see which ones if you follow the link to the syllabus above) that provide historiographical overviews of how scholars have conceptualized and written about frontiers and borderlands. Above all, I worked to help students think about borderlands history as a conceptual field that is applied to different geographic sites–in our case the Canada-U.S. and the Mexico-U.S. borders.

Next we read Rebecca Jager’s Malinche, Pocahontas, and Sacagawea: Indian Women as Cultural Intermediaries and National Symbols as a means of discussing scholarship on gender in the post-contact frontiers. Students were fascinated with the ways in which the study of mythologized indigenous women illustrates the types of cultural barriers and accommodations that define the early colonial period.

To consider the ways in which armed conflicts over territory and resources defined the boundaries of nascent nation-states in the mid-nineteenth century, we read John Little’s Loyalties in Conflict: A Canadian Borderland in War and Rebellion, 1812-1840 and Brian DeLay’s War of a Thousand Deserts: Indian Raids and the U.S.-Mexican War. Taken together, the books helped students consider the ways in which the War of 1812, the Rebellions of 1837-1838, the Comanche Wars, and the U.S.-Mexico War defined the territorial, political, racial, and political limits of the respective Canada-U.S. and Mexico-U.S. borders by the mid-nineteenth century. One common critique of Little’s analysis is that he dismisses the role of indigenous peoples in the border between Vermont and Eastern Townships in his analysis, a stark contrast with DeLay’s direct evaluation of Indian conflicts’ impact on the U.S.-Mexico War.

After taking a week to work on topics and bibliographies for the Final Project, we then turned to twentieth century issues of migration and the drug trade from a continental perspective. Bill Ong Hing’s Ethical Borders: NAFTA, Globalization, and Mexican Migration gave us a glimpse of the former and Carmen Boullosa and Mike Wallace’s A Narco History: How the United States and Mexico Jointly Created the “Mexican Drug War” introduced the latter. Examining the role of both the northern and southern borders relative to the legal history of migration restrictionism and drug trafficking helped us to contrast the types of arrangements that Canada is able to make with the United States versus those made with Mexico in which U.S. policies have tended toward the militarization and criminalization of more and more activities along the southern border.

Our lone grad student also read Andrew Graybill’s Policing the Great Plains and Joshua Reid’s The Sea is My Country. Upon completion of Graybill’s work, she reported that it was one of her two favorite reads in graduate school (the other being Truett’s Fugitive Landscapes). Through sophisticated, yet readable prose Graybill provides an example of a truly transnational approach to the study of North American Borderlands History. Much of what we did was comparative by necessity; we examined treatments of the Canada-U.S. border and then compared them to a similar type of work that deals with the Mexico-U.S. border. Graybill, on the other hand, wrote a history that connects both borders through analysis of two of the most iconic police forces in North America: the Texas Rangers and the Canadian Royal Mounted Police. Discussions and debates about the archival difficulties of completing transnational work of a continental scope abound in other forums, but it is worth noting here that Graybill’s work stood out in our class for this reason. We also highly recommend Reid’s work. His history of the Makah people along the Pacific coast of present-day Washington and British Columbia provides a crisp analysis of how borderlands themes of contact, conflict, resistance, and accommodations have functioned in contexts geographically removed from the Canada-U.S. and Mexico-U.S. border zones.

All in all, the class was engaging and students responded favorably to comparisons of the two North American borders. Especially in the Southwest (students were from southern New Mexico and west Texas), virtually all discussion of borders focuses on the line between Mexico and the United States. As we read the various monographs mentioned above, we also read selections from Johnson and Graybill’s Bridging National Boundaries in North America. That volume really helped to tie together the comparisons that we made of the two borders, and it also provided alternate perspectives. Michel Hogue’s chapter on the creation of métis borderlands was a helpful supplement for our analysis of Little’s work, for example.

This time around, the course was offered in an eight-week format. That meant that we hurriedly worked through all of the monographs and articles. Next time around, hopefully we’ll have at least 10 or 12 weeks so that we can also consider works from the period between 1848 and 1930. Hogue’s Métis and the Medicine Line and Rachel St. John’s Line in the Sand are high on my list of candidates.

As Tim and Mike mentioned before me in the first two installments of this series, I would love to hear your feedback and ideas–particularly on the pedagogy of teaching borderlands history online.
Joanna May’s StoryMap JS Final Project, “Sacajawea, A Cultural Intermediary” (shared with permission)

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CFP: UTEP Borderlands History conference

The deadline for submissions to the second UTEP Borderlands History conference is approaching: September 16. The organizers invite scholars to send in proposals for individual papers and panels of 3-4 participants on a wide range of topics related to the study of borderlands. From the conference description:

This year’s theme, Shifting Borders: Gender, Family, and Community, encourages scholars of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands to explore the myriad ways social norms have been constructed, have changed over time, and have been  influenced by the unique opportunities, obstacles, and paradoxes of la frontera. This inquiry into the lives of borderlanders, though not new, is today flourishing in novel ways. Since at least the late 1970s, borderlands scholars have blended social historical approaches with borderlands history to describe the lived experiences of borderlands people. More recently, the field has shifted toward the construction of identity in the borderlands, drawing on new approaches to race and gender and paving the way for new lines of research, including new interest in communities and families. Since then, scholars have applied the tools of women’s studies and cultural history to borderlands history.

For more information, follow the link.

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Border Medicine

Border Medicine: A Transcultural History of Mexican American Curanderismo

Brett Hendrickson (New York and London: NYU Press, 2014)


Review by Jennifer Koshatka Seman

As students and scholars of the borderlands, we seek innovative literature and approaches to the field that can broaden not only our perspectives, but those of our students as well. Border Medicine: A Transcultural History Mexican American Curanderismo is such a book. In Border Medicine, religious studies scholar Brett Hendrickson examines the Mexican faith healing practice, curanderismo. This practice is often associated with the U.S.-Mexico borderlands because of the presence of ethnic Mexicans in this region who practice it or believe in it. Hendrickson’s study of curanderismo sheds light on another facet of the borderlands: that it is about process and hybridity, about the creation of something new… and the sometimes-unintended consequences of this.

Gloria Anzaldúa described the U.S.-Mexico borderlands as “una herida abierta,” an “open wound” created when two nations rub against each other and the less powerful one bleeds.[1] Anzaldúa also described the borderlands as a place where new, hybrid cultural practices and identities are born because of the intersection of different peoples, ideas, and cultures in this space: “And before a scab forms it hemorrhages again, the life blood of two worlds merging to from a third country – a border culture.”[2] In Border Medicine, Hendrickson addresses the cultural combination that created curanderismo and the ways in which it appeals to a wide audience even beyond the borderlands. He argues that although curanderismo has historically been most closely associated with Mexicans and Mexican Americans, it has always possessed a strong appeal to Anglo Americans. Hendrickson explains, “curanderismo’s intrinsic hybrid nature opens up multiple channels of convergence with other energy-based healing modalities common in American metaphysical religion” (3). Border Medicine illuminates these “channels of convergence.”

Continue reading

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Job alert: Tenure-track position in Latin American History at Wesleyan

Dear readers, another job posting has opened, this one is from the Department of History at Wesleyan University. They are looking for applicants to fill a tenure-track assistant professor´s position with preference for individuals specializing in the “modern history of Mexico, the Andean zone, or the Southern Cone [Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay].” There is a 2-2 teaching load and the successful candidate will be expected to lead survey courses and seminars on colonial and modern Latin America. This position, while part of the History department, will also be associated with the university’s Latin American Studies Program.

Submit your application by November 1st for full consideration. The position begins on July 1, 2017. For more information, or to apply, follow the link.

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Job Alert: Assistant Professor in History of Emergent Capitalism

Dear readers, we wanted to let you know about what looks like a very interesting job announcement. The Department of History at the University of Maryland, College Park is looking for an assistant professor of “emergent capitalism,” focused on the study of Latin America, Asia or Africa. The posting is written rather broadly and leaves room open to specialists in Borderlands history who study parts of these global regions. The individual hired will teach undergraduate and graduate courses, and also mentor graduate students among other duties. This faculty position will also be affiliated with the university’s School of Business.

Although the posting is open until filled, for best consideration, apply by October 1st. Applicants must show strong teaching and research profiles, and also have earned their PhD by fall 2016.

For more information, or to apply, follow this link.


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Special Publication–Global Border Studies (IJCEAS)

Stemming from the 2014 Berlin Border Seminar, the Comparative Research Network has published the first of a two-part special edition of the International Journal of Contemporary Economics and Administrative Sciences,“Implications of Borders on Culture and Economics.” The publication features a wide range of interdisciplinary border studies projects, including one of my own, “Spirit, Transformation, and Gender in Borderlands: A Representative Case Study.”  It’s free to access, so check it out here.

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The cover features the Oder River near the campus of the European University Viadrina, separating Frankfurt (Oder), Germany and Slubice, Poland.

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