Despite the trend towards supposed globalization, the geographical demarcation of national boundaries, though often artificially constructed and the sites of complex, hybrid cultures, tends to be perceived as embodying reality, with real, sometimes violent, consequences for those living through such differentiation.
To name but one specific problem, even in the wake of supposedly neoliberal policy prescriptions such as the Washington Consensus and NAFTA, the question of sovereignty continues to burden US-Mexico relations, earning the two countries the suspect distinction of overseeing the most illegally crossed international border anywhere, and arguably criminalizing Mexicans more pervasively in the collective consciousness of the US.
In the second seven weeks of Fall term, via linguistic, theoretical, geographical, historical and political inquiry, students will articulate a problem associated with this specific border, proving their expertise in that area, presenting their research to the group, and testing their hypotheses. The latter will be tested again by an optional 2-week field-research visit to the Arizona / Sonora area, eligible for FWT credit. (on-site organization provided by Williams College and Borderlinks.org).
This course will be offered the second seven weeks of term.