How Do Borders Shape "America"?

A Race, Migration, and Sexuality Key Question event.

With around 75 participants in a packed hall, this RMS Key Question panel highlighted the intellectual thirst at Dartmouth for direct and thoughtful responses from faculty on campus and beyond to the most urgent questions facing us today. Matt Garcia (Professor, History and LALACS), Jorge Cuellar (Mellon Faculty, LALACS) were joined by Vicki Ruiz, National Humanities Medalist and UC Irvine's Distinguished Professor of History and Chinanx in a lively and entrenching discussion of how the U.S.–Mexico border has changed over time and how it has not only further divided the two countries but also deeply polarized U.S. citizenry.


Borders are processes with physical ramifications, the panelists reminded the audience. While news coverage continues to emphasize the suffering of migrants, we should not forget that southward capital flow from the U.S. has historically wreaked havoc and damaged Mexican and Central American societies to the point where people must go north to survive. This Key Question was the first result of the partnership between RMS and LALACS that will continue throughout the academic year.