From April 17 to April 20th the NCPH held its annual meeting. Four borderlands history PhD students at UT El Paso traveled to Ottowa this year to participate. Here is a brief summary of the panel, entitled:
The Contestation, Appropriation, and Production of Historical Memory in the Borderlands
By using a fairly loose geographical and metaphorical definition of Borderlands—anything from California to Louisiana, Texas and the Caribbean, or from Baja California to Tamaulipas and Nuevo León, the panelists will explore the ways in which groups and/or individuals have presented their particular visions of history in language, public venues and media, including museums, monuments, festivals, reenactments, historic preservation, architecture, and promotion of tourism.
The panel explores the production of history and its influence on the construction of historical memory in the diverse borderlands of Louisiana, Texas, California and Puerto Rico. Certain visions designed to advance specific economic, political, linguistic, and cultural agendas, often privilege specific groups and silence others. Despite this, community members and local organizations have both influenced and participated in the creation of historical events, movements, and locales. By examining the ways in which groups and/or individuals have presented their particular visions of history, the panel also considers how surrounding communities reacted or interacted with the various public history projects. Jessica DeJohn Bergen explores how Louisianans of lower Lafourche Parish remembered the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL) during the mid to late twentieth century. Cynthia Renteria’s project considers the lasting influence of The Four Centuries ’81 Celebration on the constriction of the local historical narrative in the borderland of El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Carolina Monsivais’s work set in Northern Baja California, examines the tourist/host relationship that developed between Mexico and the United States. Joanna Camacho’s
work explores Puerto Ricans’ historical memories in the context of the Quincentenary celebration of Columbus’ arrival to the “New World,” from the mid 1980’s to the early 1990s.
From Tijuana to Ensenada: Red-Tile Roofs, Tourism, and the Making of Memory In Northern Baja California, Carolina Monsivais, University of Texas at El Paso
El Paso’s 400th Birthday: The Four Centuries ’81 Celebration and Historical Memory, Cynthia Teresa Renteria, University of Texas at El Paso
Down Da Bayou: Language and Historical Memory in Southern Lafourche Parish, Louisiana 1960-1989, Jessica DeJohn Bergen, University of Texas at El Paso
La Madre Patria: Reimagining the Spanish Heritage in Puerto Rican Culture during the Quincentenary Celebrations of 1992, Joanna M Comacho Escobar, University of Texas at El Paso