Straddling Boundaries CFP: December 2, 2012

Straddling Boundaries: Hemispherism, Cultural Identity, and Indigeneity

The keynote speakers for this conference will be: Claudia Sadowski-Smith; Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair; Guillermo Verdecchia

The Culture and the Canada-US Border (CCUSB) network invites proposals for 20 minute papers, or full panels, for its inaugural conference to be held at Algoma University, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, from 24th-26th May 2013.

Where border studies in North America has hitherto focused primarily on US engagement with Mexico to the south, the CCUSB network seeks to shift border discussion North to the 49th parallel, and to investigate the representation of the border in both American and Canadian culture and cultural production.

As part of a series of CCUSB events, this conference will intervene in familiar border discourses, which have expanded out of the social and political contexts of the US-Mexico border, while the Canadian border with the USA has tended to be overlooked—prior to 9.11 at least—as ‘passive’. Ultimately we seek to develop further border-specific conversations within Hemispheric and Transnational Studies, drawing attention to the ways in which cultural production at/on the Canada-US border both corroborates and unsettles that narrative of ‘passivity’, and highlights the nuances and exigencies of US-Canadian relations, as well as Canada’s unique place in the cultural history of the Americas.

Algoma University is a small progressive university in Northern Ontario overlooking the Canada US border, providing an ideal location for the staging of this conference. The strategic location of the Twin Cities of Sault Canada and Sault Michigan on the St. Mary’s River is the site of a rich international history linked to border issues, including those surrounding indigeneity and the border, the cross-fertilization of cultural identity, and the culture and ‘architecture’ of post-9/11 security and surveillance. The Algoma campus is located on the site of a former Indian residential school, and now includes Anishinaabe programs through Shingwauk Education Trust. For the 2013 CCUSB conference we will have the option of accommodation on site so that participants can enjoy the campus. For further details, visit:

We seek contributions that examine issues raised by the cultural implications of the Canada-US border in Canadian and/or American literature, television, cinema, visual art, music, and other cultural forms, as well as the significance of such cultural forms within other discourses—truth and reconciliation, health policy, security, foreign policy, and so on. We particularly encourage papers focusing on the following issues, though submissions on any relevant area of interest are welcome:
Indigeneity and the border(lands)
migration and immigration
cultural cross-fertilization
militarization of the border
cultures and architectures of surveillance
racialisation along the border
américanité and the Québec-US border
Canada and hemispheric America
language and regionalism
the culture of leisure on and across the border

Please send proposals for 20-minute papers and a brief CV to by 30th November 2012. Panel proposals of 3 papers (for a 90 minute slot) should include paper proposals plus a brief (100 words) summary of the panel’s theme.

A number of postgraduate travel bursaries are available. See website for details.

Catherine Barter
Research Network Administrator | “Culture and the Canada-US Border”
School of English, University of Kent, CT2 7NX
Working Hours: Monday and Tuesday, 9am-5pm

Monroy-Hernandez: “The New War Correspondents: The Rise of Civic Media Curation in Urban Warfare”

Wed. Nov 28, 2012
EEB 403
12:00pm – 1:20pm

In this presentation Monroy-Hernandez will describe the information sharing practices
of people living amid urban narco-violence. Monroy-Hernandez will outline the volume
and frequency of microblogging activity from four cities afflicted by
the Mexican Drug War, showing how citizens use social media to alert
one another and to comment on the violence that plagues their
communities. Then he will explain the emergence of civic media
“curators,” individuals who act as “war correspondents” by aggregating
and disseminating information to large numbers of people on social
media. He will conclude by sketching out the implications of our
observations for the design of civic media systems in wartime.

Andrés Monroy-Hernández is a researcher at Microsoft Research and an
Affiliate at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet &
Society. His research focuses on the design and study of social
computing systems that support creative expression and civic
engagement. His work has been featured in the New York Times, CNN,
Wired, and has received awards from Ars Electronica, and the MacArthur
Digital Media and Learning Competition. He holds a PhD from the MIT
Media Lab and a BS in Computer Science from Tec de Monterrey in

Crossing Borders Conference CFP: January 1, 2013

The Graduate Students of the department of American Studies and Ethnicity at USC have revived the Crossing Borders Conference on March 29th & 30th, 2013. Crossing Borders is a decade long collaboration to bring together graduate students from USC, UC San Diego, UC Berkeley, UC Riverside, UCLA and beyond in the interest of initiating conversations across institutions and disciplines. This is a joint endeavor to foster intellectual community amongst graduate students pursuing degrees in Ethnic Studies, American Studies, the humanities, arts and social science programs in California.

This year’s conference engages the theme of “crossing” as both a spatial operation that confounds and consolidates borders and as an analytic through which to reconceptualize politics, culture, and social movements. Crossing challenges conventional understandings of imperialism, capitalism, militarism, debt accumulation, uneven geographic development, and imprisonment by illuminating the mobility of people, practices, ideas, and goods while transforming our conceptions of justice, solidarity, collaboration, and communication. Crossing also asks us to consider the methods of multi- and inter-disciplinary modes of knowledge. Exploring the concept of “border” beyond a singular understanding as geographic space, this conference encourages a multidirectional understanding of “borderland” as discursive, material, disciplinary, psychic, and imagined. The convergences of these different political-intellectual projects summon unruly archives and require flexible understandings of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Such convergences ask us to investigate the ways these categories are re-calibrated and dismantled through struggle in times of crisis. We seek papers that address the notion of crossing in any number of different struggles, sites and conflicts. Submission deadline: January 1, 2013.


Possible Topics and Themes include (but are not limited to):
interdisciplinary methods & epistemologies
political economy
geography & memory
governance, dissent, & surveillance
transnationalism & the nation-state
queer & feminist of color analysis
spatial and social theory
representation & visuality
neoliberalism, liberalism, & socialism
settler-colonialism, decoloniality, & indigeneity
confinement & imprisonment
debt & consumption

Individual paper submission requirements:
paper abstract: 250 words
1 page CV
list of 3-5 keywords/themes
Panel submission requirements:
panel title
panel abstract of 250 words
individual paper abstracts of 250 words each
1 page CVs for all participants
Send questions & submissions (in a single PDF file) to
For more information, go to

Jen Jack Gieseking, Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Research Professor, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Newell: “The Art of Survival: Life and Death on the Tinaja Trail”

Monday, November 19, 2012
Mary Gates Hall 420

Information School researcher and documentary filmmaker Bryce Newell presents a sneak preview of “The Art of Survival: Life and Death on the Tinaja Trail.” This documentary covers the story of networks of volunteers caching water supplies, distributing recycled cellular phones, and running GPS trail-finding software to help migrants crossing the border. This session will include a discussion of the implications of information in border-crossing scenarios.

Art of Survival film flyer

Flores: “Salsa Power: The Politics in/of Latin Music of the 1960s”

Friday, November 30, 2012
4 pm
Comm 120

Flores (New York University) examines how the contagious musical and dance appeal of salsa tends to obscure its powerful political content and context. Even the pachanga and boogaloo crazes of the earlier and mid-60s, which appears to be no more than party exhortations and novelty tunes, were born of an intensely political reality and harbor an intrinsic call for social change and cultural affirmation. Later in the decade, in the sounds of Willie Colon, Ray Barretto and Eddie Palmieri, the political agenda became more explicit, accompanying as it did the militant movement of the Young Lords and revolutionary voices of the Nuyorican Poets. In his talk, Juan Flores fills in this context, by putting this vibrant stage in New York’s Latin music in its place in the broader story, and listening to what some of the classic salsa songs actually say across the political ages.

Flores flyer

Derby: “The Gender of the Spell: Explaining Demonic Animal Narratives on the Haitian-Dominican Frontier”

Thursday, November 29, 2012
4 pm
Comm 120

Derby (University of California, Los Angeles) analyzes narratives about the baca–a guardian angel or spirit demon that appears as an animal–from Haiti and the Dominican Republic. She compares and contrasts rural Dominican and urban Haitian tales about these creatures which appear as dogs, cattle, boars, or turkeys. Contrary to literature which presumes that Haitian and Dominican religious ideologies are dialectically opposed (Vodou-Catholic), she argues that these tales are more structurally similar than different, and constitute a single genre, even if gender and sin are emplotted somewhat differently in the tales collected here. Derby seeks to explain the fact that in the rural border the stories are primarily about male protagonist heroism vis-a-vis a supernatural foe, while in Port au Prince after the 2010 earthquake they fueled gendered violence as women were stoned to death on the grounds that they had become turkeys and snatched babies in the dead of night. Derby’s research draws upon oral histories collected in the central Haitian and Dominican frontier, as well as Port-au-Prince, Haiti, from 2008-2011.

Robin Derby Flyer

Lawson: A Crisis of Care and a Crisis of Borders: Towards Caring Citizenship

7 pm, Wednesday, November 7
Kane 110

Lawson considers the ethics and practices of care in the global era and invites a collective conversation about how we frame social citizenship, how we care and who cares for whom. As the demand for care in the U.S. is rapidly increasing while public support for care is falling dramatically, care needs are increasingly met in the market place where care is simultaneously commodified and devalued. According to Lawson, this “crisis of care” is often borne by low-income care providers, many of whom are racial-ethnic women who may be immigrants and who are often assumed to be undocumented. Here, she contends, the crisis of care meets a border crisis.

Since 1996, immigrants’ rights have been curtailed and border enforcement has been intensified and rescaled. Lawson explores how efforts to control the movement and work of undocumented migrants and asylum seekers have unleashed new spatial strategies of border enforcement that have shifted where the border is, and for whom the border comes into being. In some states, borders are being enforced in communities, workplaces, hospitals and schools. These border practices intensify the vulnerability of low-wage care providers regardless of their citizenship status, and contribute to the devaluation of care.

An internationally respected feminist geographer, Lawson is co-founder of the Relational Poverty Network and Middle Class Poverty Politics project. A past-president of the Association of American Geographers, she is also the author of Making Development Geography (2007) and serves as editor for the journal Progress in Human Geography.

Testimonio: Mind-Body-Spirit Pedagogy

Xicana Living Pedagogies Graduate Interest Group Presents: 
Dr. Judith Flores Carmona
Assistant Professor New Mexico State University
Testimonio: Mind-Body-Spirit Pedagogy
Friday November 2nd, 2012
Communications 126
Dr. Judith Flores Carmona is an Assistant Professor in the Honors College and in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at New Mexico State University. Her research interests include Chicana/Latina feminist theory, critical race feminism, oral history, social justice education, and testimonio methodology and pedagogy. She is one of the editors of the Equity and Excellence in Education Special Issue, “Chicana/Latina Testimonios: Methodologies, Pedagogies, and Political Urgency.”

She is also working on two books:
Burciaga, R., Flores Carmona, J., Delgado Bernal, D., & Yosso, T. (under contract). Educación In Nepantla: Living and Learning in Latina/o Borderlands. Routledge.

Flores Carmona, J. & Luschen, K. (Eds.) (under contract) Critical (Hi)Stories: Crafting Pedagogies of Collaboration, Inclusion, Re(presentation) and Voice. Peter Lang.

Sponsored by: Xicana Living Pedagogies: Resistance, Testimonios and Transformation, M.E.Ch.A de UW and UW Women of Color Collective


In the Country of Empty Crosses: The Story of a Hispano Protestant Family in Catholic New Mexico

Thursday, November 1, 2012
Room 202, Communication Building, UW Seattle
3:30pm-5:00 pm

“Arturo Madrid has written a sensitive story about the early history of New Mexico, and brought it to life by sharing with readers his family’s experiences. The book is a beautifully written narrative that focuses, from a personal perspective, on several interlacing themes. Madrid blends together the different themes and stories in his narrative to weave a remarkably appealing tapestry. His first person style personalizes the genealogy and history of his family. But in that process he surfaces internal and external forces that uncover the challenges his ancestors endured. When New Mexico was conquered by the US, the economic, political and societal structures changed dramatically. This alone was a major challenge for New Mexico Hispanos who had lived there since before major English settlements along the Atlantic Seaboard. However, add to this the decision by his family to convert from Catholicism to Protestants. Instantly, the Madrids were considered heretics by the Catholic Church, and “the others” by Anglo protestants. The photographs included, all in black and white, lend the appeal of work done by Ansel Adams and paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe. They blend together to strengthen the narrative and provide the reader with a feeling of place and time. The use of Spanish, especially that spoken in New Mexico, adds immeasurably to the book. The old Spanish words and idioms lend a unique and descriptive account of emotions, relationships and environment. Madrid is a master story teller, and a gifted writer.” –Roberto Haro

Arturo Madrid is the T. Frank and Norine R. Murchison Distinguished Professor of the Humanities and Chair od the Executive Committee, Mexico, the Americas and Spain Program at Trinity University in San Antonio. The descendent of a Spanish-Mexican family that settled in New Mexico at the end of the 17th century, Madrid has long been involved in the legal, educational, and cultural affairs of Latinos. In 1984 he founded the Tom s Rivera Center, the nation s first institute for policy studies on Latino issues. He also served as national director of the Ford Foundation s Graduate Fellowship Program for Mexican Americans, Native Americans, and Puerto Ricans. Madrid also served as director of the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education and was a member of the U.S. Commission on the Future of Higher Education. He s also a fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, the nation s premier foreign policy association. He previously was the recipient of the National Endowment of the Humanities Charles Frankel Prize and many other awards.

Event sponsored by UW American Ethnic Studies; the Simpson Center for the Humanities, and the University Book Store.

For more information, call 206-543-5401 or email

UW Program on Values in Society: “Philosophy of Immigration”

Friday, November 2
Savery 408

The Program on Values in Society and the University of Washington Department of Philosophy warmly invite you to participate in a one-day roundtable discussion of the political philosophy of immigration on Friday, November 2nd, from 9.30-4.30 in Savery 408.

The event will feature presentations of philosophical works-in-progress on a number of normative issues surrounding documented and undocumented migration. Topics include the legitimacy (or illegitimacy) of national borders, ethnic selection in liberal democracies, and justice for undocumented migrants. Presentations will be kept brief in order to allow for ample discussion time.

Paper titles and other details can be accessed here:

Feel free to attend any and all of the talks that fit your schedule. Light refreshments will be served and a reception will follow in Savery Hall. We look forward to seeing you there!