Monthly Archives: April 2014

Bizarre Borders on the Zigg-Zaggy U.S. Canadian Border

Here’s a great video by the CGP Grey people people about some things you may not have known about the creation of the U.S. Canadian border, and how imprecise it is.

Via NPR:‘Don’t Touch Me,’ Said Canada. ‘I Won’t!’ Said The U.S.A. So They Moved 20 Feet Apart

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“Educating the Native in His Land:” Exploring Nineteenth and Twentieth–Century Imperialism within the Global American Borderlands, 1850s to 1950s

This analysis will explore colonial interactions within two U.S. foreign involvements through the lens of Borderlands History: the Philippines and Hawaii. Using the lens of interaction as a category of analysis, I will talk about how sexual and racial anxieties experienced by populations outside of North America have been in ongoing tension and unremitting negotiation with the American nation. By intentionally placing the Philippines and Hawaii into the realm of borderlands, scholars can further explore the transnational nature of borders, imperialisms, and societies.

The Philippines

As Julian Go contends, U.S. imperialism in the Philippines was singular for many reasons: the 1898 Treaty of Paris ceded the archipelago to the Americans rather than to Filipinos, and the terms of appropriation involved the “legally codified establishment of direct political domination over a foreign territory and peoples.”[1] Island occupation spoke to the larger phenomenon surrounding the emergence of modern empires, such as the U.S., Japan and the U.K., as well as their shared goal in the acquisition of land. Their distant location and increasing western interests made the islands not only “exceptional,” but also illustrative of efforts to colonize societies located far beyond the continent. Continue reading

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Doing Research in Local Archives

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I recently took a research trip to South Texas to further investigate the turn-of-the-century curandero (faith healer) Don Pedrito Jaramillo, one of the subjects of my dissertation. The main purpose of this trip was to look at the J.T. Canales Estate Papers at the South Texas Archives at Texas A&M-Kingsville. I told myself that if I had time, I would travel to the place Don Pedrito lived from approximately 1881 until his death in 1907: Falfurrias, a town of about five thousand people, forty miles southeast of Kingsville and 120 miles north of the Brownsville-Matamoros border-crossing. I figured a day would be adequate as I mainly wanted to visit the Don Pedrito Jaramillo Shrine that I had discovered the previous summer on a similar research trip, and experience the place where Don Pedrito spent part of his life healing people. I did not plan to find “factual” historical evidence in Falfurrias useful for my dissertation, yet the day spent in Falfurrias was invaluable to my research in ways I did not foresee. The visit changed the way I think about history and about the stories we tell as historians. Continue reading

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