Bridging National Borders in North America

Great International Railway Suspension Bridge, Niagara Falls
Great International Railway Suspension Bridge, Niagara Falls, Poole 29
A National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for College and University Faculty
Monday, June 2, 2014 to Friday, June 27, 2014

The Newberry Library’s Dr. William Scholl Center for American History and Culture hosted a four-week summer 2014 NEH seminar for college and university faculty that explored the history of North America’s border and borderlands, providing participants with a stipend of $3,300. In keeping with the recent work in the field and the collection strengths of the Newberry Library, this seminar took a broad geographic approach, framing borderlands as distinct places at particular moments in time where no single people or sovereignty imposed its will. The organizing theme is the process of border-making. We examined three aspects of this theme: how nation-states claiming exclusive territorial sovereignty re-drew the continent’s map; the intersection and sometimes collision of these efforts with other ways of organizing space and people; and the social and political consequences of the enforcement of national territoriality. Two questions guided our examinations of these developments: how did diverse peoples challenge national borders, or use or alter them for their own purposes? And, how does consideration of these topics recast our understanding of the national and intertwined histories of Mexico, the United States, and Canada?

Please see the following for more information:

Please contact Benjamin Johnson or the Scholl Center for more information.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.