Fifth Annual 2021 International Conference on Border Studies: Everyday Borders [Virtual Conference] : October 27th - October 29th

  • US-Mexico
  • BR-Main
  • UTRGV-Edbg



The theme of this year’s 5th  Annual International Conference on Border Studies, hosted by the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas, is “Everyday Borders.” The theme encourages a focus on the ways in which individuals, communities, and institutions significantly challenge and resist borders and policies related to borders and migration even as the current world is seeing increasing opposition to migration and immigration. The idea of resilience aims to emphasize the subtle and everyday ways in which people living on borders and crossing borders effectively respond to the impact that borders have on their lives. It highlights that while frontier inhabitants and migrants face conditions of vulnerability, social marginalization, insecurity, discrimination, and exploitation, they not only resist and overcome these obstacles but even come out stronger and more resilient.  

We are excited to see such growing interest in the conference in its fifth year. This year, the conference hosts speakers from 15 countries (US, Mexico, Chile, Peru, the United Kingdom, Demark, The Netherlands, France, Austria, Turkey, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Cameroon and Kuwait) and from over 30 academic institutions. We are especially pleased to have Ather Zia as, keynote speaker, Kathryn Cassidy as plenary speaker and Juan Manuel Mendoza Guerrero as guest speaker.   

The proximity to the border of our locations in Mexico and the US is a special opportunity for scholars and researchers from around the globe to collaborate in a unique geographic region and present multidisciplinary research on the important and timely issues related to borders. The conference aims to encourage working together across borders and developing lasting collaborative relationships to find solutions to some of the most important international economic, social, and ecological problems we face today.  

For any questions, contact Caroline Miles at or call (956) 457-3083

Students attending this conference also have the opportunity to:  Request Support

The Border Studies Conference will be free and open to the public (Click here to view the Flyer)

The Fifth Annual International Border Studies Conference Program 

 Free registration for the public:
MexicoRoom Ab
Mexico - October 27th             UTRGV - Main Room A          UTRGV - Room B 


Pre-Registration (For Presenters only)

Portal for Pre-Registration

The portal to pay pre-registration fees online can be accessed by clicking here

For help navigating through the pay portal please review the First-Time User Guide.

Panel Sessions & Roundtable Discussions


Title: Surviving Mexico: Resistance and Resilience Among Journalists in the Twenty-first Century

Bios: Dr. Celeste González de Bustamante is Professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Arizona and has a dual courtesy appointment with the UA Center for Latin American Studies and is an affiliated faculty member of the Mexican American Studies Department, History Department, and of the Graduate Programs in Human Rights Practice. She directs the Center for Border and Global Journalism, whose mission is to support journalists and create awareness about the perilous conditions that journalists face around the world. Her work has been published in numerous academic journals. She is the author of “Muy buenas noches,” Mexico, Television and the Cold War (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2012), and the co-editor of Arizona Firestorm: Global Immigration Realities, National Media, and Provincial Politics (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2012).

Dr. Jeanine Relly is a professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Arizona and serves as director of Global Initiatives for the School's Center for Border and Global Journalism. She holds a courtesy appointment with the School of Government and Public Policy and is an affiliated faculty member with the Center for Latin American Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Center for Digital Society & Data Studies, and the Human Rights Practice Program. Dr. Relly is a former Fulbright scholar and was a recent research fellow with Columbia University's Tow Center for Digital Journalism. Her research focuses on democratic institutions, including freedom of expression and access to public information in countries that often are in conflict or in political or economic transition. She also has a line of research focused on formal and informal institutions related to democratic governance, including issues related to public corruption, whistleblower protection and disinformation.

Abstract: Since 2000, more than 150 journalists have been killed in Mexico. Today the country is one of the most dangerous in the world in which to be a reporter. In Surviving Mexico, Celeste González de Bustamante and Jeannine E. Relly examine the networks of political power, business interests, and organized crime that threaten and attack Mexican journalists, who forge ahead despite the risks.

Amid the crackdown on drug cartels, overall violence in Mexico has increased, and journalists covering the conflict have grown more vulnerable. But it is not just criminal groups that want reporters out of the way. Government forces also attack journalists in order to shield corrupt authorities and the very criminals they are supposed to be fighting. Meanwhile some news organizations, enriched by their ties to corrupt government officials and criminal groups, fail to support their employees. In some cases, journalists must wait for a “green light” to publish not from their editors but from organized crime groups. Despite seemingly insurmountable constraints, journalists have turned to one another and to their communities to resist pressures and create their own networks of resilience. Drawing on a decade of rigorous research in Mexico, González de Bustamante and Relly explain how journalists have become their own activists and how they hold those in power accountable.


Title: Counter Bordering & Othering: Internally Displaced Persons as Borderworkers in Ukraine

Bio: Lidia Kuzemska is a sociologist with a keen interdisciplinary interest in forced migration, internal displacement, borders and bordering, citizenship and migration policy. In particular, she works on counter-hegemonic citizenship practices of Internally Displaced Persons in Ukraine. Lidia is a co-managing editor of the Refugee Review journal, which is part of the ESPMI network. She is also a Research Affiliate at the Internal Displacement Research Programme (the Refugee Law Initiative, University of London), member of the Migrancy Research Collective at Lancaster University, member of the White Rose Migration Research Postgraduate Network, and a peer-reviewer of the Knowledge Platform and Connection Hub established by the UN Network on Migration (UNNM).

Abstract: 1.6mln Internally Displaced Persons in Ukraine come from a linguistically, ethnically, and politically diverse borderlands eastern region of Donbas. I regard IDPs as borderworkers challenging symbolic borders of Ukrainianness. By crossing multiple internal physical, spatial, temporal, symbolic and bureaucratic borders within the state and within their national community, by resisting and claiming changes to existing rules and laws, IDPs advocate for reconfiguration of their connection with the state and fellow citizens from the position of citizenship. IDPs – citizens with an aberrant status of being simultaneously insiders and outsiders – are borderworkers accommodating and/or resisting hegemonic imaginaries of ‘us’ and ‘others’, or constructing alternative ones altogether. With counter-bordering and counter-othering claims and practices, IDPs aim to incorporate their differences into expanded interpretations of what makes a ‘good’ Ukrainian citizen. These claims and practices allow them to resist the state’s pressure for bordered homogeneity; first, by exposing state’s bordering and othering acts directed towards them; second, by normalizing and legitimizing their own hybridity and ambiguity as compatible with ‘good’ Ukrainianness. Counter-bordering and counter-othering acts – performed from the position of legal citizenship – enable IDPs to foreground themselves as political subjects; they also constitute IDPs’ borderwork on challenging hegemonic construction of what makes good and worthy Ukrainian citizen.


Title: Embodying Anzaldua’s Nepantla: Borderland Mujeres, a Feminist Collaboration of Poetry and Art

Bios: Julieta Corpus is a bilingual poet from Mexico whose work has been included in The Thing Itself, and the Texas Poetry Calendar. Her latest literary contribution is a collaboration with poet Katie Hoerth and visual artist Corinne Whittemore: Borderland Mujeres, published by Stephen F Austin State University Press (Texas A&M University Press Consortium). It will be available in the Fall 2021. Julieta's first poetry collection, Of Love And Departures was published in June 2021 by EM Editoriales is now available through Amazon.

Corinne Whittemore is an artist, single mother, graphic designer and educator. She grew up in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV), received her MFA in Visual Communications from the University of Arizona and has been teaching at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley for the past six years in graphic design. Corinne has and continues to freelance, consult and exhibit her artwork locally and nationally. Collaboration is integral to her art and graphic design and Corinne is currently collaborating with two women poets, Katherine Hoerth and Julieta Corpus, to produce a book of art and poetry called Borderland Mujeres.

Katherine Hoerth is the author of five poetry collections, including the forthcoming Flare Stacks in Full Bloom (Texas Review Press, 2021). In 2015, she won the Helen C. Smith Award for the best book of poetry from the Texas Institute of Letters. She is an assistant professor at Lamar University and editor of Lamar University Literary Press. This year, she was awarded a developmental leave grant and is working on a book about the frontier, feminism, and eco-poetics in Omaha, Nebraska. She is from the Rio Grande Valley and earned her MFA at UTRGV.

Abstract: This panel will include a visual presentation and reading of an interdisciplinary collaboration, a book of poetry and art titled Borderland Mujeres (SFAU Press, 2021). Images will be projected with the bilingual poetry, bridging the divide between mediums, languages, and disciplines. Different perspectives of the image will be projected as the poets perform their work.

Each image will be paired with two poems—one by each of the two poets. Each pairing is bilingual, offering selections in English, Spanish, and Tex Mex, conversing with the image from different perspectives and representing a negotiation of meaning and discourse. The resulting shared space embodies Nepantla, where languages, cultures, and voices coexist, intermix, and harmonize. No one voice is amplified over another, no one perspective is privileged, and no one language should be considered dominant. Instead, the voice becomes a collective one that represents the diversity of borderland femininity. The art and poetry imagine this as an interstice of empowerment.

Our feminist collaborative process is an act of healing. The artwork resists labels—it is not exactly ekphrasis as this would indicate that one form precedes (or dominates) another. The process is more of conversation that challenges White patriarchal notions of artistic process.


Title: Ni vivo, ni muerto, ni vivo ni muerto: An Analysis of Disappearances, Sequelae, and Victimhood Irma Sabina Sepúlveda’s Short Story El quebradero

Bio: Ashley N. García is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Texas at Austin’s Spanish and Portuguese Department. Her dissertation, “The Ghosts Lingering by El Rio Bravo: A Study of Erasures, Cyclical Violence, and Trabajo de Duelo in North Mexican Literature” explores how contemporary North Mexican literature, written by different generations of women, can help us identity how Mexican government officials, constituents, and those of us studying the borderlands use discourses and legal categories that mislabel and miscount many cases of violence that occurred between the Mexican agricultural production of cotton and Calderon's war on organized crime.

Abstract: Data published in the 1950 census from the State of Nuevo León indicates that births grew from 30,940 in 1946 to 32, 416 in 1950 while deaths plummeted from 10, 273 in 1946 to 8,589 in 1950. This information has been interpreted by researchers such as Sergio Camposortega Cruz as indicators of the social and economic progress that Mexico experienced during the 1940s and 1950s. Nevertheless, I turn to these numbers because someone who has been disappeared is not counted as a living person nor as a deceased one. This ambiguous status removes the person from the archives and the State’s official memory. I also reference this record because I want to explore how community members responded to these crimes. The objective of this essay is to examine whether Irma Sabina Sepúlveda’s short story “El quebradero” can be referenced to count forced disappearances that occurred before the 1950s. To meet this goal, I recur to avant la lettre and employ the term “desaparecido” in my study of Sepúlveda’s tale. I also propose trabajo de duelo as a theoretical framework that can help us explore the actions that are carried out by those who survive institutional, structural, physical or symbolic violence.


Title: Everyday Border Crossing in mid-20th-Century Catalonia: Reasons for Travel, Special Travel Documents, and Experiences of Police Control in Pyrenean Towns

Bio: Ariela House defended her PhD dissertation in history at the Universitat de Barcelona in 2019 and is currently working as a translator of academic articles and books, in addition to continuing her research on border crossing and border control in the Pyrenees, with a focus on Catalonia in the 1950s-1970s. Her interests include the history of passports and other travel documents; border police forces; definitions of legality and illegality in border crossing; and how local residents, tourists, and migrants interact with and help shape the border regime.

Abstract: This presentation examines who among residents of Catalan border towns on the Spanish side traveled to the French side during the Franco dictatorship (1939-1975), how and why they made the journey, and the sometimes-ambiguous legality of these forms of local travel. Reasons for crossing the border included necessity (purchasing bread during Spain’s difficult postwar period), work (seasonal and frontier workers), leisure (local festivities), and visiting relatives. Socioeconomic conditions and political ideology influenced opportunities and reasons for travel, and there were clear gender differences in employment across the border.

Sources include interviews conducted in Catalan with residents of border towns, police records housed in public archives, and documents provided by individuals. While entering and exiting Spanish territory legally generally entailed traveling with a passport and using official crossing points, local residents who used mountain paths rarely faced any legal consequences. The existence of special travel documents issued by the police in some border towns further blurred the division between legality and illegality. The presentation will include images of different types of documents that authorized border crossing without the need for a passport.

This research was funded by a “Francesc Eiximenis” grant from the Institut Ramon Muntaner.


Title: Border Perversion

Bio: Based between Ireland and USA, Elaine is a practicing visual artist. She has an MA in Visual Arts Practices and was a fellow at the Whitney Independent Study Program. She has had many solo shows, including in Dublin, New York, Mexico D.F., Rome and Limerick. She has won several prizes including the 8th Arte Laguna prize, Venice, and the T.I.N.A art prize, Milan. Awarded residencies include ISCP, Art OMI, Soma Mexico and Arctic Circle. Her work is in various collections including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Crawford Art Gallery, and the Rubin Foundation. She is a Ph.D. candidate at Temple University, Philadelphia and is represented by the Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin

Abstract: The old English understanding of Perversion was a diversion, an erring or a straying - a deviation. The English/Spanish dictionary of 1726 equates 'to pervert' to 'to turn amiss,' and much English literature from the 1600s uses the word in this sense. By why should an erring/deviation from something be understood as a perversion?

Displacement figures significantly in the construction of Perversion. One of our times' dominant myths is that the world would be safer if risk, ambiguity, and uncertainty could be controlled. This would mean we would be safer and our lives enhanced if identities could be fixed once and for all and human mobility curbed. Straying is the original act of demystification, which reveals the coercive 'nature' of the prescribed path, the straight and narrow. The state is the enemy of people who restlessly move - if you move too much, from the state's point of view, you cannot be assimilated by the community polity because freedom is seen as being about moderation, and self-restraint. Self-regulation is not about access. On the contrary, excessive movement conjures problems of security. Pan movement is seen as a threat, with freedom considered politically valuable only if it relies on mechanisms that regulate the movement manifested.


Title: Picturing Palestinian Cities from Jordan: On Contesting Sykes-Picot Borders through Photography

Bio: Ismael Abder-rahman Gil is currently a Ph.D. student at Ca' Foscari University of Venice and Philipps-Universität Marburg. His research is aiming at studying the Representation of Amman through Jordanian contemporary novels. Among his main research interests are literary geographies, cultural and spatial practices, and urban sociology.

Abstract: Borders are dominant narratives, and those drawn by Sykes-Picot in West Asia are still in discussion among scholars today, mostly on a governmental and institutional level. The question remains: How are these borders being contested and/or challenged by the ordinary citizens and the laypeople? This study focuses on a group of amateur and professional Jordanian photographers, who employ as motifs towns located on the other side of the Western and/or Northern border of the country. These photos are shared on social media which allows photographers to interact with other users from across both sides of the border. This interaction bears the opportunity of identifying cities and towns as well as exchanging expertise with respect to the most suitable standing points and timing for taking a picture of Palestinian cities, the Mediterranean Sea, and even Syrian and Lebanese mountains. This study aims at understanding the affective dimension to this practice. For example, those who cannot easily visit Palestine due to the Israeli occupation, through which gaze do they view these cities? How do they understand borders and boundaries? And how do they make meet their geographies, biographies, and desires across borders through photography? This study depends on semi-structured interviews with some of the most active ‘town-spotter’-photographers on social media, as well as on textual analysis of photography descriptions/captions together with digital ethnography. This study argues that such alternative photography practices can function as a form of counter-mapping, and (re)engage with pre-colonial geography through de-othering and de-bordering the landscape.


Title: Everyday boundaries of Al Wehdat: Where is the camp?

Bio: Nama’a Qudah is a doctoral candidate at TU Delft, at the architecture department conducting her research as part of the (Borders and Territories) group. Her research focuses on the architecture of Palestinian Refugee Camps, with her research focusing on Al Wehdat Camp in Jordan. Her research activities include a series of workshops and conferences she participated in around Europe and the Middle East. Focused primarily on the issue of emergency architecture and the architecture of displacement, Nama’a is driven by the aim of de-colonizing the knowledge produced about Jordan in general and camps in specific to be able to produce action-based research that is more empirical and reflective of its environment. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the German Jordanian University and her master’s in Theory and Design from the University of Nottingham. Her professional career was divided between practice and academia, having worked between Germany, the UK and Jordan. Her most recent position was at the University of Jordan where she taught as a full time lecturer at the department of Architecture between 2014-2018.

Abstract: The space of Palestinian refugee camps have been produced in relation to the State strategies that have set the rules and regulations that govern the camp, in addition to the inhabitant tactics and their everyday spatial practices that have allowed the inhabitants to maneuver the legislative boundaries and appropriate the space of their camps to have them better reflect on their needs and aspirations. This paper aims to investigate the everyday boundaries that have been produced in Al Wehdat Camp in Amman, Jordan, as interplay between the State strategies and Palestinian refugee tactics, with reference to the writings of Michel De Certeau (2011), and the underlying power relations that have guided and contested their production. Depending on ethnographic research conducted in Al Wehdat Camp, this research focuses on highlighting the tension between the social and immaterial dimensions and the architectural and material dimensions of the everyday borders and the spatialities that get produced in the spillover between both.


Title: Art in an Age of Planetary Entanglement: A Conversation Between Artists, Curators, and Art Historians

Bios: Juan de Dios Mora is Associate Professor of Practice at the University of Texas at San Antonio where he has been teaching printmaking, painting, and drawing since 2009. Mora works in close collaboration with the immigrant community in San Antonio, Texas. In 2014 he co-founded AsombrARTE Collective to support immigrant children in shelters and to foster creativity, artistic skills, and self-empowerment. Since 2013 Mora has also been a curator and his artworks are in art collections at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Oregon, among others.

Andrei Renteria is an Associate Professor of Practice at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he has been teaching painting and drawing since 2015. Renteria is an active member in “los comités de búsqueda de desaparecidos” or independent social groups in search of their disappeared family members in Mexico, where more than 60,000 people have disappeared in the country since 2006. Renteria has curated local exhibitions at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center and UTSA to support and promote emerging artists. He has received numerous awards including the George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation Fellowship in Painting, the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin Residency Program, and Friends of Chuck Ramirez Award for Visual Arts.

Alana J. Coates is an independent curator and a Ph.D. student at The University of New Mexico focusing on Arts of the Americas. She was formerly the Director of Exhibitions at the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, the Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at the Freedman Gallery at Albright College, and the Associate Director at Ruiz-Healy Art. Some notable curatorial projects include: YLA 22: ¡Ahora! at at Mexic-Arte Museum, Images of Power at Freight Gallery, and José Villalobos: Joto Fronterizo at Albright College. Coates was recently selected to participate in Arquetopia Foundation’s Art and Activism program in Puebla, México.

Adriana Miramontes Olivas is a PhD candidate in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh. She is interested in gender violence, narco-violence, immigration, decolonization, decolonizing epistemologies, and the history of art of the border. She recently participated in the series Crimes Against Humanity in Latin America: Mexico with her presentation “Del femi-juvenicidio al neoliberarchivo: Art, Archives, and the Pursuit of Human Rights,” at the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Her dissertation examines contemporary art of the border as seen in the works of Teresa Margolles, Enrique Ježik, Adriana Corral, and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer.

Abstract: In this roundtable contemporary artists, curators, and art historians Juan de Dios Mora, Andrei Renteria, Jose Villalobos, Alana Coates, and Adriana Miramontes examine border issues such as immigration, gore capitalism, and LGBTQ+ rights. As we reflect on a global border apparatus that is both increasingly closed and open, we ask how can the violence of the global border regime be contested? How can the violent (mis)use of bodies be disrupted and eliminated? How are artists responding to our contemporary reality and our time of planetary entanglement? Under the current border regime, security matters more than freedom. As Achille Mbembe argues, we live in constant fear of the “other.” As such, Mbembe explains, we have created a penitentiary geography of detention camps, refugee camps, and migrant camps. This panel examines these questions and issues. At the same time, the narrative seeks to contribute to a larger history of art of the border that follows the Border Art Workshop/Talle de Arte Fronterizo BAW/TAF (1984), InSITE (1992 – 2005), and the Border Biennial/Bienal Fronteriza (2014 – 2018). As the border between Mexico and the United States remains closed for Mexicans after more than sixteen months of restricted access for nonessential travelers (March 21, 2020 – present), the contemporary discourses that support transborder understanding and collaboration remain more important than ever. In this panel Mora, Renteria, and Villalobos discuss their artistic visions, activism, and recent artworks and installations and Coates considers the broader topics presented within the context of exhibition display, documentation, and institutional marketing. This conversation is moderated by Miramontes.


Title: Border GDP: Why haven't incomes converged?

Bio: James Gerber is Professor of Economics, Emeritus, at San Diego State University in San Diego, California. His most recent books are A Great Deal of Ruin:  Financial Crises since 1929 (2019, Cambridge University Press) and International Economics, 8e (2020, Pearson).  He is the co-author with Dr. Joan Anderson of Fifty Years of Change on the US-Mexico Border (2008, University of Texas Press) and numerous articles and book chapters on the economies of the US-Mexico border. 

Abstract: It is not hard to imagine two adjacent cities with a substantial movement of people and goods that leads to an elimination of any differences in living standards and productivity. Given the substantial cross-border movements of people and goods in the US-Mexico border region, it is interesting to note that one of the main arguments for the original NAFTA agreement is that it would close the gap in living standards between US and Mexican cities and between the United States and Mexico. This paper (1) estimates GDP per person for US and Mexican border communities (municipios and metropolitan areas) for 1980, 1993, 2001, 2010, and 2019; (2) compares the changes over time; and (3) shows the lack of convergence. It then analyzes the reasons why convergence has not occurred and explores the reasons why income differences in the border region are smaller than the differences between the United States and Mexico.


Title: Migración y Dinámicas territoriales en el espacio urbano en tres ciudades de Sur América: Piura,
Perú, Iquique y Antofagasta en Chile.

Bios: Alberto Prado Díaz Arquitecto Universidad de Chile, Doctor y Magíster en Arquitectura de la Universidad Politécnica de Catalunya, 2012. Se ha desempeñado como académico de la escuela de Arquitectura en la Universidad A. Prat en Iquique, Chile. Ha participado en el desarrollo de proyectos de investigación en la zona Norte del país. Además, ha sido director e investigador principal en proyectos de investigación relacionados
con temas de la Cultura Prehispánica, Paisaje y Territorio productivo de los Ciclos económicos que han afectado la región fronteriza norteña. En el 2018, fue galardonado por el gremio del Colegio de Arquitectos con el premio Sergio Larraín Garcia Moreno, por su aporte a la Docencia y la Investigación. Actualmente se encuentra desarrollando el proyecto de la Red que reúne a académicos de las universidades del Perú y de Chile, para el estudio del Paisaje y los Territorios de la zona desértica que enfrenta el océano Pacifico de América del Sur.

Stella Schroeder Geógrafa Universidad de Bremen-Alemania y Master of Science en Desarrollo Urbano y Diseño Urbano por la Universidad HafenCity Universität de Hamburgo-Alemania. Actualmente doctoranda en Urbanismo en la Universidad del Bío-Bío de Concepción-Chile. Profesora y coordinadora de urbanismo en la Universidad de Piura-Perú, con investigación en planificación territorial sostenible, ciudades para la gente, la co-produción de la ciudad, participación ciudadana, morfología urbana, espacios públicos e intervenciones urbanas a pequeña escala. Coordinadora local proyecto "mgi global Smart Cities Iniciative" Piura, investigadora “Dinámicas de ecosistemas de innovación Piura”, y coordinadora proyecto “Innospaces Piura” Innóvate Perú. Fue gerente de investigación en ECE Projectmanagement; consultora en Urbanismo y Vivienda, Hamburgo, Alemania; y asesora técnica en la Cooperación Alemana (giz). Fundadora de #FuturoPiura plataforma que incentiva la participación ciudadana en la
planificación urbana de Piura.

Claudio Cortés Aros Antropólogo de la Universidad Austral de Chile, Magister en Antropología y Desarrollo de la
Universidad de Chile, y candidato a Doctor en Cultura y Educación en América Latina por la Universidad Arcis, Chile. Es académico e investigador del Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas de la Universidad de Antofagasta, y sus líneas de investigación son etnicidad, migración, y conflictos ambientales. Actualmente es co-investigador en el proyecto Creación Unidad de investigación acción en migración e interculturalidad (FIC-R). Es co-editor de las revistas Hombre y Desierto. Una Perspectiva Cultural (ISSN 0716-5897) y de la Revista de Investigación en Docencia Universitaria (ISSNe 2542-4875), ambas de la Universidad de Antofagasta. 

Angie Calle Castillo Egresada del Programa Académico de Arquitectura de la Universidad de Piura (UDEP) de Perú. Fue parte del equipo responsable de la logística en el evento Piura Con Ciencia organizado por UDEP. Participó en el Proyecto Recuperación de Espacios Públicos a cargo de la Universidad de Piura en colaboración con la Universidad Politécnica de Virginia. Colaboró en el Proyecto de Investigación y Experimentación con plásticos para la elaboración de piezas modulares, a cargo de la Facultad de Ingeniería de la Universidad de Piura. Trabajó en el Proyecto: “Recuperación de la Iglesia de Levanto, piezas religiosas, entorno urbano, histórico y construcción del Centro Cultural del Pueblo de Levanto – Chachapoyas” a cargo de la unidad ejecutora Pro-Amazonas (Perú). Actualmente es asistente de investigación en el proyecto "mgi global Smart Cities Iniciative" Piura.

Felipe Huenulaf Robles Estudiante de arquitectura en la Universidad A. Prat en Iquique, Chile. Actualmente en práctica modalidad investigación encargado de trabajo de campo y levantamiento y registro de información.

Abstract: La Red Académica del Paisaje de los Desierto del Pacífico es una organización de académicos que
pertenecen a universidades que se ubican en la franja de los desiertos que enfrentan el océano Pacífico, y ha sido pensada como una comunidad de aprendizaje, investigación y desarrollo que busca integrar enfoques inter y transdisciplinarias al estudio de las ciencias sociales, medio ambientales, y de la geografia, el espacio, la arquitectura, y el urbanismo con el propósito de fomentar la cultura investigativa en áreas temáticas relacionadas con los territorios de los desiertos del Pacífico sudamericano, mediante la producción y divulgación de nuevo conocimiento. La propuesta, se focaliza en la participación de docentes, estudiantes, comunidad, actores sociales e
interesados en la labor investigativa, en el estudio de la realidad de las ciudades y comunidades de la franja de desiertos del Pacífico sudamericano de Perú y Chile, sin descontar la participación de investigadores de otras universidades e institutos que, aportando desde sus diferentes enfoques y experiencias al diálogo y debate, se integren a la reflexión para promover la innovación y el desarrollo de su entorno socio-económico, la solución a los problemas y necesidades a nivel local, regional y nacional de cada país.

El estudio indaga en las dinámicas territoriales de tres ciudades, Piura, Iquique y Antofagasta, ubicadas en el itinerario migratorio venezolano que corre por la franja desértica de Perú y Chile. El objetivo, describir los efectos en la dimensión espacial de la migración, profundizando en el espacio público, y en conocer y describir aquellas tácticas locales desarrolladas. Se busca reconocer, analizar y comparar las transformaciones urbanas en los centros históricos y lugares específicos de cada ciudad. Resultado que permitió relevar la importancia de los flujos migratorios en los procesos de re-territorialización y re-configuración de los territorios y lugares icónicos, como plazas y calles principales.


Title: Borderlands Digital Humanities: Bridging Everyday Borders

Bio: Maira E. Álvarez is currently the American Council of Learned Societies Emerging Voices Fellow at Arizona State University School of International Languages and Cultures. Álvarez earned a Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies with certifications in Women’s, Gender and Sexualities Studies and Spanish as a Heritage Language from the University of Houston. Her research focus on U.S. Latino and Latin American Literature, Border Studies, Digital Humanities, and archives. Her DH Scholarship includes Borderlands Archives Cartography, United Fronteras, and Torn Apart / Separados, all collaborative, independent and non-funded projects.

Sylvia Fernández Quintanilla, is currently the Public and Digital Humanities Postdoctoral Researcher in the Hall Center for the Humanities, Institute of Digital Research in the Humanities (IDRH) and The Commons at the University of Kansas. Fernández is appointed as an Assistant Professor with the Digital Technologies and Cultures Program at Washington State University starting January 2022. Her research, teaching and community work focused on Border Literature, archives, Transnational Feminisms, Immigration and Border Studies, and Digital Humanities. She is among the creators of public and digital initiatives: Borderlands Archives Cartography, United Fronteras, GeoTestimonios Transfronterizxs, Torn Apart, and Huellas Incomodas, and others. 

Abstract: Borderlands Digital Humanities emerges from a resistance to past and current toxic discourses about border regions, such the U.S.-Mexico Border. It is an attempt to bridge fronteriza/o knowledge with digital technologies from a postcolonial digital humanities practice. In accordance with Roopika Risam this requires, “postcolonial digital humanities explores how we might remake the worlds instantiated in the digital cultural record through politically, ethically, and social justice-minded approaches to digital knowledge production.” This bridging between the borderlands, digital, and humanities is necessary to contest the common thinking of borders as ubiquitous social constructions and amplify the everyday borders. This presentation demonstrates multiple ways to challenge monolithic perceptions of borders as divisions through three independent digital humanities projects in order to spark a conversation about the works in the intersection between border studies and digital humanities: Borderlands Archives Cartography (BAC), Torn Apart / Separados, and United Fronteras. These digital humanities projects, along with various more, inspired the conceptualization of Borderlands Digital Humanities building bridges among academia, community and everyday borders experiences from both sides. Borderlands DH is working to remake the digital cultural record through collective production rooted in binational local experiences and knowledge.
















Click below or  (Here)   to view the 2021 Border Studies Conference Program

The Fifth Annual International Border Studies Conference Program


Click below or  (Here)  to view Conference Posters

  Conference Posters

ather zia image

  • Conference Keynote Speaker: Ather Zia, Ph.D.

  • Ather Zia, Ph.D., is a political anthropologist, poet, short fiction writer, and columnist. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Gender Studies program at the University of Northern Colorado Greeley.

    Ather is the author of Resisting Disappearances: Military Occupation and Women’s Activism in Kashmir (June 2019) which won the 2020 Gloria Anzaldua Honorable Mention award, 2021 Public Anthropologist Award and Advocate of the Year Award 2021.

    She has been featured in the Femilist 2021, a list of 100 women from the Global South working on critical issues. She is the co-editor of Can You Hear Kashmiri Women Speak (Women Unlimited 2020), Resisting Occupation in Kashmir (Upenn 2018) and A Desolation called Peace (Harper Collins, May 2019). She has published a poetry collection “The Frame” (1999) and another collection is forthcoming. In 2013 Ather’s ethnographic poetry on Kashmir won an award from the Society for Humanistic Anthropology. She is the founder-editor of Kashmir Lit and is the co-founder of Critical Kashmir Studies Collective, an interdisciplinary network of scholars working on the Kashmir region.

    Ather has been a journalist with BBC World service. She has also done a brief stint as a civil servant with the Kashmir government which in a lighter vein she refers to as her *pre-pre-preliminary fieldwork*.

kathryn cassidy headshot

  • Plenary Speaker: Kathryn Cassidy, Ph.D. 

  • Kathryn Cassidy is a Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences at Northumbria University. As a political geographer, her research explores the processes and practices of bordering contemporary societies and the ways in which these are being disrupted both through collective and mundane actions.

    Her current research, funded by the Leverhulme Trust (2019-2021), seeks to address current theoretical and conceptual gaps in the field of border(ing) studies by developing dis/order as a conceptual lens for analyzing bordering processes and practices, drawing primarily on the work of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. This conceptual work is underpinned by an empirical study of the institutionalisation of bordering into three areas of the public sector: health care, higher education and social security.

    Her current project builds upon earlier work, which focused on the ways in which borders and the processes and practices through which they are (re)made have moved from the margins into the centre of contemporary social and political life. This research primarily emanates from a collaboration with colleagues from the EUBorderscapes (2012-2016) project, Professor Nira Yuval-Davis and Dr. Georgie Wemyss.

    Kathryn has wider research interests in geopolitics and institutional geographies. Her PhD (University of Birmingham, 2011) research in Ukraine and Romania explored the alter-geopolitical lives of those living in borderland communities. Prior to joining Northumbria in September 2013, Kathryn worked in the School of Geography at Queen Mary, University of London, initially as a Teaching Fellow and then as a Lecturer in Human Geography.

juan manuel photo

  • Guest Speaker: Juan Manuel Mendoza Guerrero, Ph.D.

  • Dr. Juan Manuel Mendoza Guerrero received his doctorate degree in Borderlands History from the University of Texas at El Paso. He attended the Autonomous University of Sinaloa for his Masters in United States and Canada Studies, and received a second Masters degree in Economics from the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico.

    He has taught a variety of courses at the Technological Institute of Ciudad Juarez, Autonomous University of Sinaloa, University of Texas at El Paso, Monterrey Institute of Higher Education, and Thunderbird University.

    Dr. Mendoza has conducted extensive research on a range of topics. Some of his published research includes: The consumption of Nostalgia: Latin American Immigrants and the Creation of the Hispanic Market in the United States, Mexican Immigrants Food ways in Texas, 1880-1960s: Identity, Nationalism and Community, and, Buying in Supermarkets: Race, Ethnicity, Gender and age in the Construction of the American Market in Mazatlan.

     Among Dr.Mendoza accomplishments are the 2003 National Prize for Foreign Trade Research from Mexico City and the Leader of the Academic Body in Consolidation “Migratory Movements and Regional Development.” He is a member of the State System of Scientist and Technological of Sinaloa and the National System of Researchers, Level 1.