Police and Infrastructure in the U.S.-Mexico Borderland

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2017

Mellon Forum with C.J. Alvarez, University of Texas-Austin


February 22 / 12:00 pm / School of Architecture / South Gallery


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.

With Sarah Lopez, 2016-17 Mellon Fellow,  Alvarez 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.