Border Killers

Neoliberalism, Necropolitics, and Mexican Masculinity

Hardcover ($65.00), Ebook ($35.00) Buy
Border Killers delves into how recent Mexican creators have reported, analyzed, distended, and refracted the increasingly violent world of neoliberal Mexico, especially its versions of masculinity. By looking to the insights of artists, writers, and filmmakers, Elizabeth Villalobos offers a path for making sense and critiquing very real border violence in contemporary Mexico.

Villalobos focuses on representations of “border killers” in literature, film, and theater. The author develops a metaphor of “maquilization” to describe the mass-production of masculine violence as a result of neoliberalism. The author demonstrates that the killer is an interchangeable cog in a societal factory of violence whose work is to produce dead bodies. By turning to cultural narratives, Villalobos seeks to counter the sensationalistic and stereotyped media depictions of border residents as criminals. The cultural works she examines instead indict the Mexican state and the global economic system for producing agents of violence.

Focusing on both Mexico’s northern and southern borders, Border Killers uses Achille Mbembe’s concept of necropolitics and various theories of masculinity to argue that contemporary Mexico is home to a form of necropolitical masculinity that has flourished in the neoliberal era and made the exercise of death both profitable and necessary for the functioning of Mexico’s state-cartel-corporate governance matrix.
Border Killers is a theoretically sophisticated study of how violence and masculinity are conjugated along Mexico’s borders. Villalobos’s analyses are provocative and thought provoking and will be of interest to all scholars of contemporary Mexican culture.”—Vinodh Venkatesh, author of Capitán Latinoamérica: Superheroes in Cinema, Television, and Web Series

“This book is an enlightening and ambitious approach to the demystification of border killers.”—Édgar Cota-Torres, author of The Representation of the Black Legend on Mexico’s Northern Border
Border Killers
272 Pages 6 x 9
Published: May 2024Hardcover ISBN: 9780816553068
Published: May 2024Ebook ISBN: 9780816553075

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