James Nichols, Queensborough Community College, CUNY and David Sartorius, University of Maryland | Newberry

James Nichols, Queensborough Community College, CUNY and David Sartorius, University of Maryland

Friday, December 4, 2015

3 to 5 pm


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

Fluid Borders in the Nineteenth Century

The Promises and Perils of Play-off Diplomacy: Lipan Apaches and the Borderlands of the Río Bravo/Grande

James Nichols, Queensborough Community College, CUNY

By the 1850s, the United States and Mexico began shoring up the newly-formed international border militarily. Lipan Apaches, who had long played both sides against one another, found that both nation-states demonstrated a new resolve to do something about the trans-border mobility these Native peoples had long practiced. A few Lipans sought rapprochement and the entreaties they made for peace with Mexico demonstrated a concerted response to new realities along the border. But the ultimate failure of this diplomacy resulted in an ad-hoc, informal cooperation between Mexicans and Americans to rid the border of them-albeit ultimately unsuccessful.

Taking Borders Littorally: Maritime Mobility and the Identification of Difference in Nineteenth-Century Cuba.”

David Sartorius, University of Maryland

This paper considers regimes of state regulation of overseas border crossing in the nineteenth-century Caribbean in order to denaturalize presumed connections between national citizenship, territorial sovereignty, and the global standardization of documentary identification. Ambiguity about who required passports to travel to and from Cuba and other Caribbean islands made figures such as stowaways, illegally enslaved Africans, tourists, and soldiers central to policies that defined borders. Their experiences shed light on the similarities and differences between crossing borders by land and by sea.

Respondent: Dr. Brian DeLay, University of California-Berkeley

Cost and Registration Information 

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