Overview of the Southern Border Course
The southern border of the United States, stretching from California to Florida, is the longest physical divide between the First and the Third Worlds. The border is a cultural mosaic, a zone that abruptly brings together diverse experiences from the North and the South. It is also a place where one can see larger social, economic, and political processes at work on both sides of the boundary. This course will look at the southern border from both these perspectives: as a distinct landscape where North-South relations take on a specific spatial and cultural dimension; and as a broader region which has seen the emergence of many issues of national significance, such as bilingual education, immigration, ethnic politics, remittances and free trade.
While many patterns of change were established during the nineteenth century, the century has brought new dimensions of economic expansion, transforming the border region. A restructuring of regional economic and political power caused a tilting of capital, resources, and population toward the previously less-settled zones of the South and Southwest of the US and to the northern frontier of Mexico. This transformation has been accompanied by changes in immigration patterns; the contemporary shift in immigration sources from the Atlantic Rim to the Pacific Rim and the Caribbean has been dramatic. The border states have felt these changes keenly. Areas such as California, Texas, and Florida have become important centers for international trade, as well as gateways for new immigrants and refugees. Since 1950, the frontier zone between the United States and Mexico has been transformed into the most heavily populated border region in the world; by the turn of the century, some ten million people will inhabit this new urban corridor. Cities such as Miami and Los Angeles, the east and west anchors of the new immigration, have emerged as urban centers of intense diversity and sometimes conflict.
In this course we will trace the origins of the changes that have defined today's southern border. After this historical overview, we will look critically at debates on immigration reform, education, trade, and politics as well as new cultural and political identities in the border regions.
Mid-Term 1 -------- October 1
Mid-Term 2 -------- November 5
Final Exam -------- TBD
Mid-terms = 60% of final grade
Final exam = 40% of final grade
THERE WILL BE NO MAKE-UP EXAMS
There are three sources from which students will receive course updates and additional materials related to course content.
Bspace (required and automatic):
Your subscription is automatic. You can access a listing of Required Southern Border announcements via b-space. Through Bspace, Professor Shaiken will communicate new required readings, course logistics, and miscellaneous announcements.
Center for Latin American Studies Facebook Page (optional and highly encouraged)
All students are highly encouraged to “like” the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) Facebook Page. When you “like” the page, CLAS posts will be included in your Facebook newsfeed. Through Facebook, Professor Shaiken will alert students to media material and events on campus that reflect course content.
The Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) event mailing list:
This list is not required, although students are encouraged to sign up if they are interested in learning more about CLAS events on campus. To subscribe: Go to http://clas.berkeley.edu/Publications/subscriptions/index.html. Enter your email address, and other information if you desire.
All books are available at The Cal Student Store.
- O'Neil, Shannon, Two Nations Indivisible: Mexico, The United States, and The Road Ahead, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013).
- Lagos, Ricardo, The Southern Tiger: Chile's Fight for a Democratic and Prosperous Future, (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2012).
- Manz, Beatriz, Paradise in Ashes: A Guatemalan Journey of Courage, Terror, and Hope. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003).
- Center for Latin American Studies, Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies, Various Editions. (Available online at http://clas.berkeley.edu or hard copy at the Center for Latin American Studies: 2334 Bowditch Street, Berkeley, CA 94720. $5 donation requested.)
- Course reader available at Copy Central, 2650 Bancroft Way.
Department: Goldman School of Public Policy, School of Public Health
Research interests: international development, gender equity, civic participation, media
Office Hours: TBD
Department: Graduate School of Education
Department: Ethnic Studies
Department: Latin American Studies
Research interests: The creation of the "other" in Northern Mexican "border region" and Northern Brazilian film and literature, immigration, state formation, citizenry in modern era