Michael Wolff to Speak at CNM

If you’re going to be in the area, Dr. Michael Wolff will be speaking at Central New Mexico Community College, next Wednesday, October 21. The topic he’ll be presenting is his work on the “pacification campaigns” in Rio de Janeiro’s slums by state forces against local criminal organizations. It should be a great talk. Dr. Wolff, who teaches at the University of New Mexico, has also researched the politics of violence and organized crime in Mexico, particularly in Ciudad Juárez.

For more information, check out the flyer. The talk is part of the Latin American Speaker Series, hosted jointly by CNM and UNM.


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Call for submissions: Edited volume on U.S. Internal Borderlands by Center for Western Studies

Dear readers, we’ve learned from Augustana University that the Center for Western Studies is looking for contributors to a new collection edited by Jon K. Lauck. The subject matter is the American Midwest and the Great Plains; the project is titled, “In Search of the Interior Borderlands Where does the Midwest End and the Great Plains Begin?”

The deadline for proposals is 20 November 2015 and chapters will be due on 21 October 2016. For more information, as well as how to submit your topic and CV, follow the link:
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Sunday Reading Suggestion: All Borderlands Are Ghost Lands

Dear readers, we wanted to let you know about an excellent new essay Ranbir Singh Sidhu has written for the Los Angeles Review of Books titled, “All Borderlands Are Ghost Lands.” He reflects on the refugee crisis in Europe informed by his own family’s history, when his mother and relatives were displaced by the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan. Writing eloquently and powerfully about the plight of refugees and how this ordeal scars the historical memory of one’s family, readers may find parallels with the regional crisis occurring in Central America and along the U.S.-Mexico border. From the essay:

In the end, all borderlands are ghost lands, and every border is painted in blood. Many of those fleeing today, caught in their exhaustion and despair on our television screens, carry with them similar stories. Behind those faces, that far too many in Europe are demanding to be shut out or deported, are often epic and tragic tales. The vast majority of people do not leave their homes, their memories, and their hopes to face the prospect of death by drowning simply for the possibility of economic gain. Real desperation drives them, and the near certainty that their lives, should they stay and somehow survive, would be lived among ruins.

For the full read, follow the link:


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Oscar Martinez to Speak at UTEP

FYI, for readers who will be in the area…

Flyer-Oscar Martinez

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Fellowship in Latino Studies from The School for Advanced Research

Good day, BHB readers! We just came across an interesting fellowship opportunity and wanted to share it with you. The School for Advanced Research, located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is accepting applications for the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship in Latino Studies. Qualified applicants will have completed their PhD in anthropology, history, sociology, religious studies, Latino/Chicano Studies or related fields by the application deadline, which is November 2, 2015. For more information, follow the link and good luck!

Details for the fellowship:


How to apply:


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Borderlands History Interview Project Presents Monica Perales

Monica Perales

Monica Perales

Welcome to another installment of the Borderlands History Interview Project. We have been away too long, but we’ve been thinking about you! Today, we are offering a fantastic interview with Dr. Monica Perales, Associate Professor at the University of Houston. She received her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Texas at El Paso, and went on to complete her Ph.D. in history at Stanford University. She is also the author of Smeltertown: Making and Remembering a Southwest Border Community and the forthcoming article “The ‘New Mexican Way’: The New Mexico Agricultural Extension Agency, Hispanas, and Making a Regional Cuisine,” in Meredith Abarca and Consuelo Salas, eds., Latinas/os’ Invisible and Visible Presences in the Food Systems: Changing How We Eat and Who We Are.

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BOOK REVIEW: Scotland’s Northwest Frontier: A Forgotten British Borderland

In today’s guest post, we present a book review by Stephen Kostes on borders and frontiers in the UK. Stephen is a Stony Brook History M.A. recipient (2015) and is interested in the British empire’s use of colonial troops and how these soldiers eventually created their own martial borderland culture. He is contemplating a dissertation that would study this concept of martial borderlands as they existed in the 18th and 19th century. 

Alister Farquhar Matheson, Scotland’s Northwest Frontier: A Forgotten British Borderland. Matador Press, 2014.

Scotland’s Northwest Frontier is a massive but accessible work that traces the history of Scotland from roughly 1,000 C.E. to the twentieth century. It focuses specifically on the Northwest frontier and analyzes the roles of both the Hebrides and Highlands in shaping the cultural and political landscape of Scotland.

The book is split into four major segments, each containing several chapters that chronologically trace the development of Scotland. The first segment gives the reader a virtual tour of the landscape of the Highlands. Though Matheson lists the names of various Scottish territories, he makes the mistake of never giving the reader a map, making it difficult for someone unfamiliar with Scotland to keep track of every territory. The first segment is by far the shortest, and is more of an extended introduction that introduces the book’s core themes. The main one is how the Northwest frontier helped shape, divide, and unite different Scottish clans from the medieval to the modern era. Secondary is the frontier’s role in cross country trade, and the eventual destruction of the Highland way of life.

51Djg1Q17PL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_ Continue reading

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Conference Dispatch: Coloquio de la Constitución de 1917 y el constitucionalismo en el noroeste de Mexico

Within a few years, Mexico’s Constitution of 1917 will mark its 100th anniversary. In preparation, since 2013, the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas has organized a series of conferences, involving more than 100 scholars and up to 50 individual institutions. They form part of Dr. Catherine Andrew’s project on constitutionalism, exploring the social and political legacy of this topic in Mexican history. The goal has been to produce new and original academic works that examine the Constitution of 1917’s significance from local, regional, and national perspectives, examining Mexico’s history over the last century as well as encouraging reflection on the country’s future. Last week marked the close of the most recent conference hosted by the CIDE in Aguascalientes.

The conference examined the impact of constitutionalism on northwestern Mexico and opened with a session by Ignacio Marván from the División de Ciencias Políticas at CIDE. He spoke in depth about Venustiano Carranza and his legacy not only as a political and military leader nationally, but Dr. Marván also talked about his legislative work as a senator from Coahuila and how that experience informed his political philosophy in subsequent years. Later, the first morning panel led to a spirited discussion in the Q&A about Villa’s legacy.

Luis Barrón and Ignacio Marván

Luis Barrón and Ignacio Marván

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New UTEP Fellowships Supporting Study of Borderlands History

In light of current events and heightened political rhetoric worldwide, the study of borderlands is becoming increasingly important. Our friends at H-Borderlands have good news to share: The Department of History at the University of Texas at El Paso has announced new doctoral fellowships to support graduate study in the field of Borderlands History. The deadline for applications is in January 2016. For more information, follow the link below:


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UTEP Borderlands History Conference November 6-7, 2015–Program

2015 UTEP Borderlands History Conference
Friday, November 6, 2015
The El Paso Natural Gas Conference Center, University of Texas at El Paso

6:00 – 7:00 pm Keynote Address: “Caged Birds: Immigration and the Rise of Mexican Incarceration in the United States” Kelly Lytle Hernandez, UCLA
7:00 – 9:00 pm Reception

Saturday, November 7, 2015
Hilton Garden Inn El Paso/University

8:00-10:00am Panel 1: Borders, Bodies and the State
“Borders, Bodies and Babies: the State and Precarious Reproduction in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, 1922-1942,” Heather Sinclair, The University of Texas at El Paso
“Illegal Methods: Abortion and the State on the U.S.-Mexico Border,” Lina Murillo, The University of Texas at El Paso
“Babies, Bodies, and Borderlands: Parteras, Religion, and the State in New Mexico, 1848-1940,” Rebecca Tatum, Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York
Space Outside States?: Borderlands, Statelessness, and Refugee Migrations,
Julian Lim, Arizona State University

Commentator: Monica Perales, University of Houston

10:10am-12:10pm Panel 2: State-Building in the Borderlands
“El establecimiento de la línea de presidios en el intento de definición y afirmación del Estado español en la frontera septentrional,” Alonso Domínguez Rascón, El Colegio de San Luis, A.C.
“The Union of Coahuila and Texas: A Forced Marriage and an Ugly Divorce” Jesus De la Teja, Texas State University
“Geographies of Difference: Nation, Empire and State-Brokering in Late Porfirian Chihuahua,” Jonathan Hill, City University of New York: Graduate Center
1. Jaime R. Ruiz
“Modernity, Cronyism, and Revolution: Urban Infrastructure in Chihuahua City during the Porfiriato, 1892-1911,” Jaime Ruiz, The University of Texas at El Paso

Commentator: Mario T. Garcia, University of California, Santa Barbara

12:15-1:15pm Lunch

1:20-3:20pm Panel 3: Movement, Migration, and the State
“‘Many of our countrymen who have been driven or escaped from the hands of their tormentors…have lately found their way to this City’: The Problem of Refugees in the Mexico-U.S. Borderlands,” Evan Rothera, Pennsylvania State University
“Los indios de la frontera mexicoamericana en la agenda diplomática de México y Estados Unidos, 1876 – 1878,” Viridiana Hernández Fernández
“Ernesto Galarza and Woodrow Moore: Visiones Criticas Sobre El Estado en la Coyuntura del Programa Bracero,” Diana Irina Córdoba Ramírez, El Colegio de México
“Ciudad Juárez ante la deportación de mexicanos en El Paso, Texas, 1931. Conflicto local impulsado por políticas nacionales,” Fernando Saúl Alanís Enciso, El Colegio de San Luis, A.C.
Commentator: Yolanda Leyva, The University of Texas at El Paso

3:30-5:30pm Panel 4: Challenging the State
“Sociedad sin Estado y Estado sin sociedad: cultura mexicana y bifurcación de las lealtades políticas en los dos Laredos 1848-1898,” Manuel Ceballos Ramírez, Colegio de la Frontera Norte
“Nuevas aproximaciones al estudio de la zona libre: el caso de los vinicultores en Baja California y las negociaciones con el gobierno federal mexicano (1940-1945),” Diana Lizbeth Méndez Medina, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California
“A Dreary Lot of Parasites”: A Comparative Look at Drug Smuggling, Border Enforcement, and Prohibition Rhetoric along the US-Canada and US-Mexico Borders,” Holly Karibo, Tarleton State University

Commentator: Josiah Heyman, The University of Texas at El Paso

5:30-6:00pm Response: Ignacio Martinez, The University of Texas at El Paso

7:00-9:00 pm Dinner: Café Mayapan

Registration is required.
For more information and to register, please visit: http://borderhistoryconf.utep.edu/
For questions or concerns, email: historyconference@utep.edu

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