Building Walls in Our Texts: Border Studies and the Representations of the Border between the US and Mexico

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  • WS 16/17

Course Information

Nr. Kursbezeichnung Typ Zeit Raum DozentIn
154650 Building Walls in Our Texts: Border Studies and the Representations of the Border between the US and Mexico 2 PS Mi 14:15 - 15:45 R. 0.420 Sniezyk

Course Description

“We will build a wall!” Exclusionary immigration politics such as Trump’s - in the most fantastical as well as more moderate formulations - have a long tradition in the American imaginative. Often this exclusionary vision is based on the belief that one has to ‘patrol’ the American border and by implication American identity. Border Studies responds to this discourse and the realities of the border, borderlands and immigration politics and their representations.

This course explores the construction of the US-Mexico Border, its literatures and narratives and the communities, peoples, and identities that have developed on both sides of the dividing line as well as in the “contact-zones.” Topics will include metaphors of division and liminality, hierarchically structured migration, conceptualizations of the nation as a closed entity or “imagined community,” identity politics in “contact zones,” stories about transgressing the border and other divisive lines, and hybridization in the borderlands. A principal objective here is to interrogate the standard imaginative and ideology of “the border” and explore new and alternative conceptualizations in its American/-Mexican specificities and to question the general implications and consequences of division at (national) borders.

Readings are likely to include: Gloria Anzaldua’s Borderlands / La Frontera: the New Mestiza (1987), T.C Boyles’ The Tortilla Curtain (1995), Karen Tei Yamashita’s The Tropic of Orange (1997), contemporary short stories, poetry by Rodney Gomez and Joseph Delgado, and some recent works in Border Studies.


Lehramtsstudiengänge: MA BML 2005:
LPO 2003:
  • GHR: 1f
  • GyGe: 1f, 4c
  • SP1. Fach: 1f
  • SP2. Fach:
  • BK: 1f, 4c
LPO 1994/2000:
  • B4, E2
LABG 2009:
  • G: 602
  • HRG: 503
  • GyGe/BK: 503
  • SP:
Angewandte Sprachwissenschaften/

Angewandte Literatur-/Kulturwissenschaften:

  • B.A.ALK: Kern 1c, 2bc, Komp 1b
  • B.A.AS: Komp 2a
  • M.A.ALK:
  • M.A.AS: