Border Spaces

Visualizing the U.S.-Mexico Frontera

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The built environment along the U.S.-Mexico border has long been a hotbed of political and creative action. In this volume, the historically tense region and visually provocative margin—the southwestern United States and northern Mexico—take center stage. From the borderlands perspective, the symbolic importance and visual impact of border spaces resonate deeply.

In Border Spaces, Katherine G. Morrissey, John-Michael H. Warner, and other essayists build on the insights of border dwellers, or fronterizos, and draw on two interrelated fields—border art history and border studies. The editors engage in a conversation on the physical landscape of the border and its representations through time, art, and architecture.

The volume is divided into two linked sections—one on border histories of built environments and the second on border art histories. Each section begins with a “conversation” essay—co-authored by two leading interdisciplinary scholars in the relevant fields—that weaves together the book’s thematic questions with the ideas and essays to follow.

Border Spaces is prompted by art and grounded in an academy ready to consider the connections between art, land, and people in a binational region.


Maribel Alvarez
Geraldo Luján Cadava
Amelia Malagamba-Ansótegui
Mary E. Mendoza
Sarah J. Moore
Katherine G. Morrissey
Margaret Regan
Rebecca M. Schreiber
Ila N. Sheren
Samuel Truett
John-Michael H. Warner
“As the concept of borders increasingly penetrates the national consciousness of the United States—and that of many other countries, for that matter—it is important to reflect on how we reached this point and what that means. How is power absorbed, resisted, interpreted, and reflected in border spaces? What individuals and groups have been influential in shaping that understanding? What are the layers in this process that have remained undetected or overlooked, especially in relation to how we visualize the region? This book contributes substantially to a better understanding of these issues.”—Southwestern Historical Quarterly

"This book is of clear interest to anyone wishing to learn more about US-Mexico border and borderland history, to the way it has been represented and created, and to those seeking a transformative way of doing and presenting history."—Henry Way, Historical Geography

“These compelling essays create a visual history of the U.S.-Mexico border. There is no other study of its kind that as effectively gathers together histories of various types with a focus on representations of race and place.”—Kate Bonansinga, author of Curating at the Edge: Artists Respond to the U.S./Mexico Border
“A dynamic and engaging read, offering new insights into cultural production in the borderlands. The combination of well-established and new voices is refreshing.”—Gabriela Muñoz, Arizona Commission on the Arts
Border Spaces
248 Pages 6 x 9
Published: August 2018Paperback ISBN: 9780816539468
Published: March 2018Ebook ISBN: 9780816538218

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