[URBANTH-L]Call for Articles: "Bridging National Borders in North America"

Angela Jancius acjancius at ysu.edu
Sun May 15 21:45:20 EDT 2005

 "Bridging National Borders in North America"

Proposals for scholarly papers concerning the U.S-Canadian and U.S.-Mexican
borders are solicited for a symposium co-sponsored by the William P.
Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University (SMU)
and the Department of History at Simon Fraser University (SFU). A workshop
for participants and initial public presentations will be held at SFU in
greater Vancouver in Fall 2006, to be followed in Spring 2007 by a
conference at SMU in Dallas, Texas. Ultimately a university press will
publish the papers as a volume edited by conference organizers Andrew
Graybill and Benjamin Johnson.

These two meetings will bring together scholars of both of North America's
borders. Long ignored or given little attention by historians, borders have
recently become the sites of deep scholarly interest. Today both the
Canadian-U.S. and Mexican-U.S. borderlands are burgeoning economically and
demographically, and the movements of goods and people through them are
important subjects of political debate and agitation. For historians, the
physical edges of nations may reveal the most about the contingency of
national histories and provide the best prospects for creating accounts of
the past that transcend both the geographic and conceptual limits imposed by
international boundaries. Nevertheless, students of the Canadian-U.S. and
Mexican-U.S. border regions generally work in isolation from one another.
Indeed, "borderlands" is generally used as shorthand to refer to the
present-day U.S. southwest and Mexican north, with little thought to the
border that divides Canada and the United States.

The goal of the symposium is to explore what scholars of the Canadian-U.S.
and Mexican-U.S. borders might learn from one another. To what extent is
there a shared history of North America's borders? How, for example, did
Indian peoples/First Nations respond to the bisection of their traditional
homelands in the nineteenth century? How did borders hinder and foster labor
migrations? How have "vice" industries developed in similar ways along both
borders? What were the environmental implications of border-making, such as
the impact upon migratory animal populations or trans-border ranching and
farming industries? To what extent did disparate groups such as U.S. policy
makers, Chinese labor contractors, drug smugglers, and commercial fishermen
apply the knowledge gained in one borderlands to the other? Although there
is no pre-set list of topics or chapters, our hope is to assemble a volume
that demonstrates how joining the history of both of North America's borders
might further the agenda of borderlands history.

We welcome submissions focusing on any time period from the creation of
national borders to the present from scholars of any rank, from graduate
student to full professor. Papers may compare a common dynamic on both
borders, or, alternatively, may analyze one border in a way that invites
direct comparison or pairing with another essay concerning the other border.
Please send a CV and description of an original, ongoing project to Andrew
Graybill by September 15. The description, of up to five pages, should both
describe the research and explain how it serves the goals of the conferences
and resulting book. Approximately eight papers will be chosen for the
conferences and resulting volume. Queries can be directed either to Graybill
or Johnson.

Benjamin Johnson
bjohnson at smu.edu
Andrew Graybill
agraybill2 at unl.edu
Department of History
612 Oldfather Hall
University of Nebraska
Lincoln, NE 68588-0327

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