María E. Balandrán-Castillo, University of Chicago; Lisa Pinley Covert, College of Charleston; Maria Duarte, University of Texas at San Antonio

Friday, February 7, 2014


Center for American History and Culture Programs
Borderlands and Latino/a Studies Seminar

“Conflicting Notions of Settlement: Plyler v. Doe and Mexico’s Encuesta Nacional de Emigración, 1977-1982”
María E. Balandrán-Castillo, University of Chicago

“Containing Threats to the Nation in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico”
Lisa Pinley Covert, College of Charleston

This paper examines the intersections of gender, economic development, and national identity formation by exploring concerns that emerged over the growing expatriate community and tourist industry in the Mexican town of San Miguel de Allende in the 1960s and 1970s. San Miguel’s elites used public spectacles like head-shaving raids to simultaneously allow Mexicans to vent their frustrations with the inundation of foreigners in San Miguel, reinforce patriarchal notions about appropriate gender roles, establish a hierarchy between desirable and undesirable foreign influences, and protect their economic interests. Ultimately, this research reveals how gender roles became a battleground for larger preoccupations over economic change and the future of the nation, and why those battles were particularly charged in transnational spaces far from the border and the capital.

“Making Patriotic and Stateless Mexicans in the U.S. during Porfirio Díaz’s Regime, 1880s-1890s”
Maria Duarte, University of Texas at San Antonio

This paper examines President Porfirio Díaz’s consular agenda toward the Mexican community in the United States during the late nineteenth century. It argues that Díaz’s consular policies shaped the meanings of being Mexican north of the Rio Grande at that time. Díaz’s consular officials implemented a “Mexicanization” campaign to integrate their compatriots in the United States to the Mexican nation. Yet, the Díaz regime arbitrarily rendered dozens of Mexican immigrants stateless for having lived outside of the republic for more than ten years. Díaz’s consular measures laid the foundation for patriotic yet vulnerable Mexican communities in the United States.

Commentator: Jason Ruiz, University of Notre Dame

Cost and Registration Information 

Scholl Center Seminar papers are pre-circulated electronically.  For a copy of the paper, email the Scholl Center at  Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.