Borderlands and Latino Studies Seminar: Julian Lim, Cornell University and Marlene Medrano, Southern Methodist University

Friday, November 12, 2010

3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Borderlands and Latino/a Studies Seminar

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

“ ‘Of their own color but not of their own race’: ‘Miscegenationists’ and Multiracial Relations in the Borderlands”
Julian Lim, Cornell University

On October 6, 1893, El Paso policemen raided the homes of several “colored men and Mexicans” for violating the state’s anti-miscegenation laws.  Using this case as a touchstone for multiracial relations in El Paso, this paper examines the conditions under which a diverse populace came together, intersected, and interacted in the borderlands during the late-nineteenth century.  While examining the racial boundaries that African Americans, Chinese, and Mexicans crossed and tested at the El Paso-Juárez border – as well as the oppositions that they faced – the paper also unravels the strategies of protest, including migration, that these racialized minorities engaged in their struggles for freedom.

The Other Border Crossers: Adventurous Youth, Defenseless Women and Diseased Prostitutes in Ciudad Juárez, 1920-1940
Marlene Medrano, Southern Methodist University

This paper examines the transnational response to the travel of American minors, unaccompanied women, and sex workers into Juárez, Mexico to engage in vice tourism. U.S. authorities and reformers sought the protection of their citizens in Juárez while Mexican responses varied. Juárez government and health officials, residents, and sex workers had diverse interests. Some social sectors accepted American tourists’ presence due to their economic implications while others demanded their banishment. I particularly highlight the role of Mexican sex workers in these debates. The tensions over these groups traveling to Juárez underscore the complex cross-border negotiation of economics, politics, and citizenship.

Commentator: Lisa Cacho, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign