Cultural, Political, and Linguistic Borders/6303

Dr. Kathleen (Kathy) Staudt (, 747-7975, Benedict Hall 303

Spring, 2004 (Seminar meets in Benedict Hall 205)

In this course, we will review literature and research on "borders” in international, jurisdictional, economic, identity, and metaphoric senses, focusing especially on the U.S.-Mexico border.  We will also analyze and compare educational policies and programs situated inside different “borders,” where contrasting policies and civic capacities lead to different outcomes.  Evaluative criteria will emphasize the ability to synthesize disparate literatures; to apply analysis to action (especially the “borders” between the campus/district and parents); to write book reviews; and to extract research designs, where relevant, in order to move seminar participants toward the next level of their doctoral experiences.

We are all privileged to live and work at an international territorial borderline—the field of our study.  We will take advantage of opportunities to observe and to dialogue with 'el otro lado.'  Specifically, we will schedule a visit to the museum, market, and cathedral in Ciudad Juarez, using the pedestrian bridge.  Participants might wish to avail themselves of print media from Juarez, specifically the local sections of Norte de Ciudad Juarez and Diario de Juarez (the latter also available ( condensed on the web, w/several articles per day).


Herbert Kohl, ‘I Won’t Learn from You’ and other Thoughts on Creative Maladjustment, New Press, 1995.

Susan Rippberger and Kathleen Staudt, Pledging Allegiance: Learning Nationalism at the El Paso-Juarez Border, Routledge/Falmer, 2002.

Dennis Shirley, Community Organizing for Urban School Reform, University of Texas Press, 1997.


Seminar participants will complete various assignments:

*research proposal, (30%) grounded in the border context (i.e. synthesizing border/Texas studies, approximately half of which come from the syllabus) and DUE 4/24, framing/posing questions/hypotheses, and proposing methodologies and sources 

*short reflection papers on the readings, as noted in the reading list below (*)specifically (~2 pp) (20%)

*active participation in the seminar (15%) (seminar absence will affect grades!)

*applications project, individually or in a team (but individual papers submitted) (15%) that identifies a district (or campus) parental involvement/engagement strategy, diagnoses it, and develops a strategy to expand or deepen that strategy.

*book review, based on evaluation template that we develop collectively (see # before books below that are suitable for reviews) (20%), presented in the seminar.


Jan 17            Conceptualizing Borders

Introductory remarks on thinking in and outside boxes (borders).

Template for Book Review

Speaker, Dr. Judith Munter, on the FIPSE grant (applications project) Video: Region XIX, Exceeding Expectations: Parental Engagement in Action

Supplementary Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (peruse)

James Banks, "The Lives and Values of Researchers?" Educational Researcher, October 1998


Jan 24 Old- and New-Style Border Studies

John Sharp, Bordering the Future: Challenge and Opportunity in the Texas Border Region (, Introduction, Bordering The Future

Staudt & Spener, "A View from the Frontier: Theoretical Perspectives Undisciplined," in David Spener & Kathleen Staudt, eds. The U.S.-Mexico Border: Transcending Divisions, Contesting Identities (Boulder: Lynne Rienner 1998)

Octavio Paz, "Mexico and the United States" (the "Washington address") New Yorker, September 17, 1979

Supplementary Ellwyn Stoddard, "The Status of Borderlands Studies," Social Science Journal 12, 3, 1975-6; "Legitimacy and Survival of a Professional Organization: The Association of Borderlands Scholars," Journal Of Borderlands Studies 7, 1, 1992

Vicki Ruiz and Susan Tiano, eds. Women on the U.S.-Mexico Border (Boston: Allen and Unwin, 1987)

Debbie Nathan, Women and Other Aliens: Essays from the U.S.- Mexico Border (Cinco Puntos Press, 1991), esp "The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You"

Debates on Octavio Paz's "essentialist" view: Willard Gingerich, "The Poetics of History: A Defense of the Washington Address of Octavio Paz," OR/AND James Wilkie, "The Historical View of Octavio Paz: A Critique of the Washington Address," both in New Scholar 9, Special Issue "Border Perspectives on the U.S./Mexico Relationship," 1984.

Robert Alvarez, "The Border as a Social System: The California Case," New Scholar 9 (1984)

Jan 31 Nationalism and Territorial Borders

Rippberger and Staudt, Forward (by Velez-Ibanez) and Ch 1

Oscar Martinez, Border People: Life and Society in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands (esp Chs 1-2) (U of Arizona Press, 1994)

Benedict Anderson, "Census, Map, and Museum," (handout) OR Peruse the whole of Imagined Communities (1983, 1991)

*How might the construction of borders and/or of diverse identities among border peoples, be integrated in research? Consider how diverse readings affect your thinking, as practitioners And researchers, as you cross and/or maintain "borders."

Supplementary Becoming National, Geoff Eley and Ronald Suny (NY: Oxford University Press, 1996), esp their Introduction and the classic statement, Ernest Renan, "What is a Nation?"

Peter Ward and Victoria Rodriguez, with Enrique Cabrero Mendoza, New Federalism and State Government in Mexico (Austin: University Of Texas, U.S.-Mexico Series, 1999), esp. Cabrero's Ch 6, "Education: Cutting Edge of New Federalism?"

#Judith Hellman, Mexican Lives, New Press, 1994

Feb 7  Cultural/Ethnic Identities

Kohl, Preface and "I Won't Learn from You" Pablo Vila, "Gender and the Overlapping of Region, Nation, and Ethnicity on the U.S.-Mexico Border," OR "The Polysemy of the Label 'Mexican' on the Border," in Vila, ed. Ethnography at the Border, University of Minnesota Press, 2003

Benjamin Alire Saenz, "Exile: El Paso, Texas," in Flowers for the Broken (Seattle: Broken Moon Press, 1992) - handout

*Do people of Mexican heritage and/or Spanish- language speakers share solidarities with one another, with or without borders?

Speaker, Dr. Tony Payan


#Ariel Dorfman, Heading South, Looking North: A Bilingual Journey Penguin, 1997

#Pablo Vila, Crossing Borders, Reinforcing Borders, University of Texas Press, 2000

Nina Glick Schiller, et al, "Transnationalism," in Transnational Perspectives on Migration: Race, Class, Ethnicity, and Nationalism Reconsidered (1992) and/or Nationalism Reconsidered (1994)

Cristina Garcia, Dreaming in Cuban (Ballantine, 1992)

Gloria Anzaldua, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (San Francisco: Aunt Lute, 1987)

Verghese, Abraham, The Tennis Partner (Harper 1998)

Renato Rosaldo, Culture & Truth (Stanford U Press, 1989).


Feb 14  Historical Perspectives

Shirley, Community Organizing?, Chs 1-2

Sharp, Bordering the Future, Chs on the Economy and Public Education

*Visit the U.S. Bureau of the Census web site ( to check your zip code area and/or that of the schools/districts you may research. Bring highlighted printouts, noting observations/patterns, along with a synthesis of useful material from Shirley and Sharp.


#Oscar Martinez, U.S.-Mexico Borderlands: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (Wilmington, De: Scholarly Resources) - on reserve

#Staudt, Free Trade? Informal Economies at the U.S.-Mexico Border Ch 3, on historical political economy, (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998)

#Oscar Martinez, Border Boom Town: Ciudad Juarez Since 1848 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1978)

#Mario Garcia, Desert Immigrants: The Mexicans of El Paso, 1880-1920 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1981)

George Sanchez, Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture, and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900-1945 (NY: Oxford University Press, 1993), esp Ch 4 and later chapters on education in WWII era -

#Guadalupe San Miguel, Jr., "Let All of Them Take Heed" Mexican Americans and the Campaign for Educational Equality in Texas, 1910-81 (Austin: U of Texas Press, 1987)

Mary Kay Vaughan, The State, Education, and Social Class in Mexico 1880-1928 (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1982)

Paul Schuster Taylor, An American-Mexican Frontier: Nueces County, Texas (NY: Russell & Russell, 1934), Chs 25 and 26 on education

LBJ School of Public Affairs, Preparing for the 21st Century (Austin: University of Texas, Policy Research Project Report #107, 1994).


Feb 21  Historical Perspectives: El Paso/Juarez, Civil Rights and Desegregation

Rippberger and Staudt, Ch 2

Baselines on five southwestern states!

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (CCR), Mexican American Education Study (Six-Monograph Series) - comparative study of 5 southwestern border states - available in Government Documents (1971-74) - Peruse entire

*TEAM project, w/individual reports Write a summary of 3 monographs from the CCR, extracting research methodologies, policy and civic implications. Was the legacy of "intentional segregation" corrected (?) in Alvarado v. EPISD 1976 by Y2K+ El Paso?

Speaker: Dr. Susana Navarro


UTEP Oral History Institute: Listen and/or read transcripts from El Paso's Desegregation case (Alvarado, v. EPISD), litigated Finalized 1976, MALDEF and Alberto Armendariz, Sr., lead attorneys) - Special Collections, library, and access through (click history, then Oral History Institute) OR other education narratives

Bonnie Urciuoli, "Language and Borders," Annual Review of Anthropology 1995, 24:525-46.

Feb 28  Contemporary Education at International and Cultural Borderlines

Shirley, Ch 5 on Ysleta Elementary School

Rippberger and Staudt, Chs 3-5

Kids Count, The State of Texas Children 2003,

Texas on the Brink, "How Texas Ranks Among the 50 States,"

Child Advocacy 101

*Consider the narratives on El Paso and Juarez with the numeric pictures painted of Texas. Who speaks for children?

Supplementary #Harriett D. Romo and Toni Falbo, Latino High School Graduation (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1996), esp Ch 2,

#Gary Orfield, "The Growth of Segregation: African Americans, Latinos, And Unequal Education," in Orfield ('the Harvard Project on School Desegregation') Dismantling Desegregation: The Quiet Reversal of Brown v. Board of Education (NY: New Press, 1996)

#Anthony Bryk, Charting Chicago School Reform (Boulder: Westview 1998).

Susan Rippberger, "Ideological Shifts in Bilingual Education: Mexico And the United States," Comparative Education Review 37, 1 (1993)

Guadalupe Valdes, "The World Outside and Inside Schools: Language and Immigrant Children," Educational Researcher, Aug-Sep 1998

Women and Education in Latin America, Nelly Stromquist, ed. (articles On SNTE-National Union of Education Workers in Mexico)

Ben Saenz, "The Use of Culturally Relevant and Multicultural Literature To Promote Student Success," UTEP Working Paper 1999

#Maria Luisa Gonzalez, Ana Huerta-Macias, Josefina Villamil Tinajero, Latino Students: A Guide to Successful Practice (Technomic 1998) -

Maria Teresa Tatto, "Education Reform and State Power in Mexico: The Paradoxes of Decentralization," Comparative Education Review 43, 3 1999, pp. 251-282.

K. Welner and J. Oakes, "(Li)Ability Grouping: The New Susceptibility of School Tracking Systems to Legal Challenges," Harvard Educational Review 66, 3 1996

Beatriz Calvo, "The Policy of Modernization of Education: A Challenge To Democracy in Mexico," in Ethnic Identity and Power: Cultural Contexts of Political Action in School and Society (Albany: SUNY 1998)

Carola and Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, Trans-Formations: Immigration, Family Life, and Achievement Motivation Among Latino Adolescents (Stanford University Press, 1995)

#Daniel Morales-Gomez and Carlos Albert Torres, The State, Corporatist Politics, and Educational Policy Making in Mexico (NY: Praeger 1990/1)


Mar 6  Civic Capacity Across Institutional, Political, and Jurisdictional Borders

Shirley, Ch 3, 4, 6, plus Chs 7-8

Compare two chapters in Clarence Stone, ed. Changing Urban Education, University of Kansas Press, 1998 (Marion Orr, on Baltimore; Timothy Ross On East Brooklyn; Dorothy Shipps on Chicago; Thomas Longoria on Houston)

El Paso Collaborative for Academic Excellence: Visit for Education Summit, El Paso 2000

Video on Summit

*What is the most effective and replicable case in Shirley? How does El Paso's Ysleta ES experience compare on parental involvement/engagement terms? Contrast the single campus cases with metropolitan networks (ie San Antonio) and state action. What IS the role of civic capacity in reforming education?

Speaker: Joe Rubio, Lead Organizer, EPISO

Kohl, "The Tattooed Man"

K.Staudt, "Mexico Reflects on the United States: Colonias, Politics, and Public Services in Fragmented Federalism," in Staudt & Spener


Lawrence Herzog, Where North Meets South: Cities, Space, and Politics On the U.S.-Mexico Border (Austin: U of Texas Press, 1990)

#Clarence Stone, Building Civic Capacity: The Politics of Reforming Urban Schools, University of Kansas Press, 2001.

Kenneth Meier, "The Politics of Bureaucratic Discretion: Edu- Cational Access as an Urban Service," American Journal of Political Science 35, 1 (1991)

Michelle Saint-Germain, "Re-Presenting the Public Interest on The U.S.-Mexico Border," in Staudt & Spener

Victoria Rodriguez and Peter Ward, Policymaking, Politics, and Urban Governance in Chihuahua (Austin: U of Texas/LBJ Policy Report, 1992) (Juarez and Chihuahua City/late 1980s perspectives)

Victoria Rodriguez, Decentralization in Mexico (Westview, 1998) -


Mar 13 The Borders of Class and Gender: Poverty, Privilege, and Inequality

Rippberger and Staudt, Ch 6

Linda McNeil and Angela Valenzuela, "The Harmful Impact of Testing in Texas: Beneath the Accountability Rhetoric," in Gary Orfield and Mindy Kornhaber, eds. Raising Standards or Raising Barriers: Inequality and High-Stakes Testing in Public Education, Century Foundation Press, 2001.

Kohl, "Excellence, Equality, and Equity," and "Uncommon Differences"

Maricela Oliva and K. Staudt, "Pathways to Teaching: Latino Student Choices And Professional Identity Development in a Teacher-Training Magnet Program," Equity and Excellence in Education Special Issue, Partnering For Equity, 36, 3, September 2003, pp. 270-79.

*Visit, then click Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS), then select a border campus or district at the border with a non-border campus or district. Bring highlighted printouts and a summary of observations/patterns. What are the "screaming silences" (that ought to be part of a public accountability system for parents and residents) on the site?

"A New Texas: 'Invest in Kids, Invest in Our Future'," Border committee hearings powerpoint, 2003

Speaker: Richard Gutierrez, Project SHINE and former President, TSTA


#Carlos Velez-Ibanez, Border Visions, University of Arizona Press, 1996

Frontera Norte, various issues, including 6 (1994), "La Pobreza: Aspectos Teoricos, Metodologicos y Empiricos"

#Jose Angel Gutierrez, The Making of a Chicano Militant: Lessons from Cristal, University of Wisconsin Press, 1998

Mar 27  Immigration Policy: New Americanization Efforts

Video: The Time Has Come (on Bowie HS/South-Central El Paso)

Speaker: Juan Cybert-Coronado, invited not yet confirmed (citizenship questions) Locate analysis of the 'new' immigration proposal: What does open and closed borders mean for schools "Americanization?"


#Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, ed. Crossings: Mexican Immigration in Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Harvard University Press, 1998.

#D. Gutierrez, Walls and Mirrors: Mexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants, and the Politics of Ethnicity, University of California at Berkeley Press, 1996

Carlos Velez-Ibanez and Anna Sampiao, eds. Transnational Latino Communities, Rowman and Littlefield, 2002

U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, U.S. Immigration Policy: Restoring Credibility (1994) Becoming an American: Immigration and Immigrant Policy (both Reports to Congress)

Katharine Donate, "U.S. Policy and Mexican Migration to the United States, 1942-92," Social Science Quarterly 75, 4 (1994)


Apr 3 Economic Development and Demographics in El Paso

Stone, Chs 8-10 on business involvement in educational reform in Chicago, Charlotte, and Houston.

Debbie Nathan, "The Trials of Ray Caballero," Texas Observer, April 11, 2003

Speaker: Dr. Lorraine O'Donnell, EDLF and EPISD Trustee


Apr 10  Closing: Crossing Borders?

Shirley, finish, Chs 9-12 Rippberger and Staudt, Ch 7

How can we build "civic capacity" (Stone, and/or "social capital" (Shirley) to strengthen educational performance for all children in the region (you define the 'borders')?


#David Brooks and Jonathan Fox, eds. Cross-Border Dialogues: U.S.-Mexico Social Movement Networking, University of California at San Diego, U.S.- Mexican Studies Center, 2002.

#Peter Eckel and Adrianna Kezar, Taking the Reins: Institutional Transformation in Higher Education, American Council on Education 2003

#K. Staudt and Irasema Coronado, Fronteras No Mas: Toward Social Justice at the U.S.-Mexico Border, Palgrave USA 2002.


April 17 Parental Engagement/Involvement Strategies Apr 24 Research Design Presentations