Borderlands and Latino Studies Spring Mini-Conference | Newberry

Borderlands and Latino Studies Spring Mini-Conference

Saturday, April 5, 2014

9 am to 3 pm

Center for American History and Culture Programs
Borderlands and Latino/a Studies Seminar

Panel 1

“Amateur Anthropologists and the Seri Indians’ Defense of their Ancestral Lands: An Examination of the Metaphorical Borderlands between ‘Civilization’ and ‘Barbarity’ ”
Andrae Marak, Governors State University

“Amateur Anthropologists and the Seri Indians’ Defense of their Ancestral Lands” uses the transnationality of indigenismo to explore the ways in which both the Seri Indians and their Anglo counterparts exploited each other as they each performed “civilization” and “barbarity” to advance their own agendas. Noted Ethnographer W.J. McGee as well as a series of amateur anthropologist and Native American enthusiasts argued that the Seri were so backward that they would soon be extinct. These depictions of the Seri not only drew these Anglos to the Seri, they served to make their written accounts of the Seri exotic and of interest to the broader public. The Seri also selectively performed barbarity (and civilization) to maintain their ancestral culture and as a means of mitigating the loss of their ancestral homeland.

“The Indigenous Peoples of the Royal Road: Travel and Commerce between Mexico City and Santa Fe in the Seventeenth Century”
Tatiana Seijas, Miami University

The royal road or *camino real* connected the colonial capital of Mexico City with the far reaches of the Spanish empire in North America. Along its path, Apaches, Spaniards, Africans and Tarahumaras, among countless others, clashed, traded and toiled, engaging with structures of imperial power and participating in the money economy to derive some benefit from colonialism. This paper deploys the camino real as the organizing principle to argue that the people who lived in the territories it crossed saw the road as a political challenge and a commercial opportunity. They seized it for their own purposes and to achieve their own objectives within the empire.

Commentator: Ramón Gutiérrez, University of Chicago

Panel 2

“The Expansion of Immigration Control and Immigrant Rights Advocacy, 1945-1965”
Rachel Ida Buff, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

“Operation Wetback and the Great Bracero Amnesty of 1954”
Israel Pastrana, UC San Diego

“A Global History of El Paso and Juárez: Espionage and Propaganda on the U.S.-Mexico Border, 1933-1945”
David Romo, University of Texas at El Paso

Commentator: Geraldo Cadava, Northwestern University

Panel 3

“Borderland Biopolics: Cultures of Drug Use and the Making of Political Risk in El Paso, Texas”
Matthew Furlong, University of Chicago

“ ‘Inherited Loss’: Reckoning with Anti-Mexican Violence, 1910-Present”
Monica Munoz Martinez
, University of Texas at Austin

Commentator: Camilla Fojas, DePaul University

Featured Performer

Chuy Negrete, Mexican Cultural Institute
Musicologist and Visiting Professor
“Songs of the Mexican-American Border, 1926-47”

Cost and Registration Information 

Scholl Center Seminar papers are pre-circulated electronically.  For a copy of the paper, email the Scholl Center at  Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.