The Last Frontier: The Contemporary Configuration of the U.S.-Mexico Border

An issue of: South Atlantic Quarterly

The Last Frontier
Journal Issue Pages: 236 Volume 105, Number 4 Published: 2006 An issue of South Atlantic Quarterly
Special Issue Editor: Jane Juffer
The Bush administration has designated the U.S.-Mexico border “the last frontier” against potential terrorists from Latin America. Analyzing the human costs, The Last Frontier explores the effects of neoliberal policies on the border. On the one hand, neoliberal economics depend on open borders for the free flow of trade and the maintenance of a low-wage labor force. On the other, both Mexico and the United States continue to heighten surveillance mechanisms and Border Patrol forces, especially in the wake of September 11, in an attempt to close those borders.

Covering a range of disciplinary perspectives—geography, political science, anthropology, American studies, literary studies, and environmental studies—these essays contend that U.S. policies to curtail immigration and drug trafficking along the Mexican border are ineffective. George W. Bush’s call for a volunteer security force has legitimized a vigilante presence through the formation of Minutemen civilian border patrols, in addition to larger numbers of Border Patrol agents and expanded detention centers. One contributor argues that, due to the increasingly dangerous border-crossing conditions, more undocumented immigrants are remaining in the United States year-round rather than following the traditional seasonal pattern of work and returning to Mexico. Another contributor interviews drug smugglers and government officials, revealing the gap between reality and the claims of success by the U.S. government in the “war on drugs.” Focusing on the social justice movement Ni Una Mas (Not One More), one essay delves into the controversy over the unsolved murders of hundreds of young women in the border town of Ciudad Juárez and the refusal of the government to investigate these murders properly. Other essays consider instances of resistance and activism—ranging from political movements and protests by NGOs to artistic expression through alternative narratives, poetry, and photography—against the consequences of neoliberalism on the border and its populations.

Contributors. Ana M. Manzanas Calvo, Alicia Schmidt Camacho, Arturo Dávila, Sarah Hill, Jane Juffer, Laura Lewis, Alejandro Lugo, Tony Payan, Claudia Sadowski-Smith, Santiago Vaquera, Melissa Wright


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Table of Contents Back to Top

1. Introduction–Jane Juffer

2. Public Women, Profit, And Femicide In Northern Mexico–Melissa W. Wright

3. Notes From An Unrepentant Border Crosser–Santiago Vaquera-Vásquez

4. Twenty-First-Century Chicana/O Border Writing–Claudia Sadowski-Smith

5. Photo Essay: Cruces–Alejandro Lugo

6. The Immigrant Song–Arturo Dávila

7. Contested Passages: Migrants Crossing The Río Grande And The Mediterranean Sea–Ana Maria Manzanas Calvo

8. Purity And Danger On The U.S-Mexico Border, 1991-1994–Sarah Hill

9. Home Is Where The Heart Is: Afro-Latino Migration And Cinder-Block Homes On Mexico’s Costa Chica–Laura A. Lewis

10. Migrant Melancholia: Emergent Discourses Of Mexican Migrant Traffic In Transnational Space–Alicia Schmidt Camacho

11. The Drug War And The U.S.-Mexico Border: The State Of Affairs–Tony Payan

12. Notes On Contributors

Additional InformationBack to Top
ISBN Paperback: 978-0-8223-6662-1