ABSTRACT

In the United States, the border is rarely a reference to the shared line with Canada. It nearly universally denotes the political and economic boundary with Mexico. Periodic efforts to reshape US scholarly and popular discourses on the border or the world beyond it have had limited successes. Half a century or more later, transnational studies in the Americas have attempted to overcome the geographic divisions present in history, anthropology, and other disciplines. California and New Mexico, in particular, were shaped by efforts to recreate a Spanish colonial setting in the early 20th century. The story of the US-Mexico border is one of peoples and cultures that are smaller than the nation, but who simultaneously transcended that border from its inception. Mignolo’s pensamiento critico, the scholarship emanating from Latin America, and Latino studies, emerged as problem-solving tools by those populations – they investigate problems, whereas Latin American studies consider objects.