Police and Infrastructure in the U.S. - Mexico Borderland
C.J. Alvarez, University of Texas - Austin
Discussant: Sarah Lopez, 2016-2017 Princeton-Mellon Fellow
The anti-Mexican frenzy of Trumpism, its fetishistic devotion to border barricades, and the concomitant resurgence of law and order fundamentalism have all produced significant distortions in the popular imagination of what the U.S.-Mexico border is and how it functions. This talk aims to introduce historical grounding and focus into the current political crisis by dislodging the border from the statist paradigm of “security,” and arguing instead that the best way to understand the border is in terms of the purposefully interlocking market economies of the United States and Mexico.
In this Mellon Forum talk, C.J. Alvarez, assistant professor of Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, will discuss his current book project, a history of policing on the U.S.-Mexico border. In particular, he will focus on the interaction between law enforcement and the built environment, especially transportation and tactical infrastructure.