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2012 Archives

Noted U.S.-Mexico border experts to canvass
migration myths, violence and narrative art

“Barbed-Wire Art, Border Myths and Immigration Violence” set for February 22

February 20, 2012

DALLAS (SMU) — Is there a real threat of Islamic terrorists crossing into the U.S. from Mexico? Is the Mexican justice system doing everything it can to curb drug cartel violence? Is America enabling U.S.-Mexico border problems by providing too many willing illegal drug buyers and too-easy access to assault weapons?

U.S. - Mexico border
U.S.-Mexico border as seen from space.
Such issues will be explored Feb. 22 by a noted panel of U.S.-Mexico border scholars during “Barbed-Wire Art, Border Myths and Immigration Violence,” the third event in SMU’s interdisciplinary “Migration Matters” series. The discussion, free and open to the public, will be 5:30–7:30 p.m. at SMU’s McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall.

Featured speakers will be:

  • Maria Herrera-Sobek, professor of Chicana/o studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Josiah Heyman, anthropology professor at the University of Texas, El Paso
  • Roberto Villalon, sociology professor at St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in New York.

The panel will examine how and why negative myths continue to circulate around immigration and the U.S-Mexico border despite reliable information proving them false, says “Migration Matters” coordinator Jayson Gonzales Sae-Saue, an SMU English professor specializing in Chicano/a literature. “The panel will also address how pictorial narrative is a powerful means by which artists have attempted to make visible the conditions that reductionist rhetoric and myths obscure,” he says.

Migration Matters lecture series at SMUUTEP professor Heyman proposes that people re-examine such images and stereotypes in two ways: “Where do they come from,” he asks, “and how do we achieve a more critical, complex understanding of them?”

For more information about this event or others in the series, contact Sae-Saue at or 214-768-4369.

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