Fall 2008

Seminar on Race and Nation in the U.S.-Mexican Borderland

Listed in: History, as HIST-87


Rick A. Lopez (Section 01)


(LA or US) The U.S.-Mexican borderland has been the site of intense struggle and even violence over race and nation. These tensions have a long history within the region, and they have had important consequences both for the region and for the rest of Mexico and the U.S. Most studies tend to focus on either the U.S. Southwest or northern Mexico, but in this course we will attempt to unite the study of these two regions and their people. Within this land short on ecological resources, whites, Native Americans, and mestizos (mixed bloods) competed violently over politics, economics, and culture. We will discuss these conflicts along with the similarities and differences between U.S. and Mexican understanding of race and nation. Central themes include race, gender, violence, state and nation formation, industrialization, colonialism and imperialist expansion, popular politics, and environmental change. In addition to secondary readings, the class incorporates original documents, music, images, and visits to the archives. Two meetings per week. Requisite: One course in either U.S. or Latin American history, Limited to 15 students. Not open to first-year students. Fall semester. Professor Lopez.