Negotiating Boundaries: Resistance, Cooperation, and State-Building in the Guatemalan-Mexican Borderlands


Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellowships


Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences


“Negotiating Boundaries” explores the modern historical development of the Guatemalan-Mexican border, focusing on themes such as state power, security, identity, and everyday life on the border. It uses both Guatemalan and Mexican archives to show that most borderlanders had a unique relationship to the line on the map: it was seen as part of the cultural and social landscape, ignored, or exploited for commercial purposes. State building projects saw insecurity in this fluid landscape, and the borderlands became a site of nationalist and exclusionary practices. This project contributes to the growing field of borderlands studies, and is situated between this field and Latin American, Mexican, and Cold War history.