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Newberry Library (Chicago, IL 60610-3380)
Benjamin Heber Johnson (Project Director: February 2016 to May 2018)
Bridging National Borders in North America

A four-week summer seminar for college and university faculty on the historical development of territorial boundaries and national borders in North America.

This application proposes an NEH Summer Seminar for faculty on the history of borderlands in North America, to be held at the Newberry Library from July 10, 2017 to August 4, 2017. Borderlands studies have emerged from their conceptual cradle, New Spain’s northern frontier, to serve as an analytic concept for illuminating contact zones across the wider North American continent and beyond. The seminar’s organizing theme is the process of border-making. We will examine three aspects of this theme: how nation-states claiming exclusive territorial sovereignty re-drew the continent’s map; the intersection and sometimes collision of these efforts with other ways of organizing space and people; and the social and political consequences of the enforcement of national territoriality. The seminar’s format, readings, and guest scholars have been selected with the goal of bringing together participants with diverse scholarly agendas into a common conversation about these developments.

Project fields:
Latino History; Native American Studies; U.S. History

Seminars for College Teachers

Education Programs

$134,242 (approved)
$133,851 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2016 – 9/30/2017