“The U.S-Mexican border es una herida abierta where the Third World grates against the first and bleeds. And before a scab forms it hemorrhages again, the lifeblood of two worlds merging to form a third country — a border culture.
Borders are set up to define the places that are safe and unsafe, to distinguish us from them. A border is a dividing line, a narrow strip along a steep edge. A borderland is a vague and undetermined place created by the emotional residue of an unnatural boundary. It is in a constant state of transition. The prohibited and forbidden are its inhabitants.”
― Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza
The conference planning committee would like to invite all conference attendees to join us Friday afternoon (post-conference cake-cutting) for una plática; it’s a time, a place, a space for conversation. There’s been some interest in – and concerns about –the framing of this conference around the theme of “migration”, among other relevant issues that arise as a result of holding this year’s conference in Texas, more specifically the Rio Grande Valley border region. We intend to create an opportunity for our attendees to engage in meaningful discussion about how this third country and its border culture are defined, including who defines it.
These conversations are necessary, especially within a context of higher education and among people from different backgrounds and relations to this third country/border culture. We are also interested in how these conversations directly impact the work we do as writers, writing tutors, educators, and administrators, and how we frame writing, tutoring, and the constructions of space and borders.
Potential, although not exhaustive, list of topics to inform our conversation:
- Politically exigent issues, such as family separation and detention, child abuse, trafficking, sexual assault, and US politicians’ demonization of immigrants, the border region, and Mexico.
- Relationships and folds that connect the Rio Grande Valley to other parts of the US, such as language, migrant work, military service, and pursuit of higher education.
- Responses to NCPTW18 conference theme, framing, and execution. Including questions of who gets to travel (to the Rio Grande Valley, to Mexico, to Texas) and how they get to travel.
- National (and other) representations, depictions, and definitions of the local border region and its people, particularly narratives of violence and commerce.
- Documenting citizenship and residency, and how they pertain to travel and permission, including use and distribution of passports and other forms of identification; the US government stripping RGV residents of their citizenship, and interrogation practices that occur at the Mexico-US border and at intranational checkpoints.
Event: Una Plática
Location: South Padre Convention Centre
Time: Friday, November 2, 3:30pm
Location: 202 (Convention Center)
All conference attendees are welcome.