[URBANTH-L]Mexico-US Migration Class: Your suggestions, a syllabus

Hilary Dick hdick at temple.edu
Thu Jan 22 17:29:23 EST 2009

Dear Colleagues—

Happy New Year. You may recall that I wrote the list in December,
asking for suggestions for reading and multi-media sources for my
spring course on Mexico-US migration.

I have finalized the syllabus, and I wanted to thank you all again for
the many excellent suggestions—some of which were familiar favorites
(briefly forgotten), others new to me.

For your reference, I have attached the syllabus as a .pdf, which
includes many of your suggestions, either as required material for the
course or as suggested material. I thought it might be useful for
people to see a compilation of the suggestions/how they ended up
informing the syllabus. Note--the complete bibliographic references
appear at the end of the syllabus.

There are also a number of music and movie suggestions that did not
make it onto the syllabus. I have included these below after my
signature: I've just cut-and-pasted people's emails.

Thank you again.

Hilary Dick
Hilary Parsons Dick, PhD
Humanities Fellow, 2008-2010
Center for the Humanities
Temple University

Other Suggestions that did not make it onto the Syllabus--

- In terms of pop culture, there is always the Tigres del Norte
catalog. That group has made a musical career of major cross-border
themes(narco corridos included), but some of their songs like "la
Jaula de oro" or "Tres Veces Mojado" are definitely worth looking

- The Mexico City band Maldita Vecindad also has a song called
"mojado" from their self titled debut album about leaving family
behind to look for a better life in the USA and dying in the process.
Same goes for the band Mana (do not like them much, so do not know the
name of the song) in their "Donde Jugaran la Ninas" album.

- The band Tijuana No has an album called "Contra Revolution Avenue."
I have not heard this one since I was a teenager, but look for the
song Stolen at Gunpoint, it deals with the resentment of loosing
California and Texas to the U.S.

- The photo-journalist David Bacon has done a lot of visual work with
migrant communities on both sides of the border. His work "Communities
Without Borders" may be a good starting point.

- The linkage may be oblique, but I recommend reading Erich Maria
Remarque's "Flotsam," about undocumented immigrants in pre-WW II
Europe.  Many aspects of the book speak to the universality of the
undocumented experience, whether it is Mexicans coming to the US or
political refugees being jostled from country to country in Europe.

- Alex Rivera--all his fabulous films, esp Borders! See alexrivera.com

- Maria Novaro's film: El Jardin del Eden (The Garden of Eden) The
border, the migrants and people in between.

- I also like to show the film La Ciudad,
http://www.pbs.org/itvs/thecity/ This is a great ethnofictional film
-- real life migrants (instead of actors) performing collective
stories with which they are familiar.

- (Movie) Fast Food Nation, 2006

- Documentary Oaxacan Hoops by Bernardo Rios who is at The Ohio State
University. Bernardo is a doctoral student but his documentary has
been shown across the US and Mexico. I don't know if you can buy it
but you can obtain it through Bernado at benrios7 at gmail.com.
Bernardo's documentary was a result of an email to Sam after reading
True Tales in my class - Sam is totally accessible.

- Uneasy Neighbors (although not a recent documentary most issues made
visible are still pertinent now) Oaxacalifornia, documentary

- I teach a Mexico-United States Borderlands course and incorporate
the following films:

a)"De Florida a Coahuila"--Seminole/Mascogos (African-descent/Native
Am) who migrated to MX, and then some later migrated to the US;
b)Los Mineros/The Miners--about the recruitment of Mexicans to work in
the copper mines in AZ, the labor struggles, and the involvement of
some of the leaders in the Cananea, Sonora mining strike)
c)"Ancestors in the Americas: Coolies, Sailors, Settlers"--Chinese
migration to Northern Mexico, and US West
d)The Guest Workers--MX migrant agricultural labor in North Carolina
e)El Contrato/The Contract--MX migrant agric labor to Canada
f)Los Trabajadores/The Workers--conflict around MX day labor in
Austin, TX---good in moving the viewer from 'seeing'
"undocumented/illegal" migrant to seeing the individuals as "persons"
(particularly, Ramon, who end up as a man and father who has accepted
his role as father with responsibility to provide the best he can for
the well-being of his wife and daughters--i..e, family values,
personal responsibility, etc.)
g)The Lion King--coupled with the article by Martín-Rodríguez, "Hyenas
in the Pridelands..The Lion KIng'--he argues that the subtext of the
film, in the context of CA 1993-94 and Prop 187, is about the
xenophobia about informally authorized migration (my term for
"undocumented" migration)
h)Crossing Arizona--contemporary issues about post Op Gatekeeper impact on AZ
i)On the Edge--Femicide in Juarez

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