The Future of the U.S.–Mexico Borderlands

Michael Dear

Part of the Fall 2009 Bay Area Latin America Forum

August 31, 2009

Event Description

The current U.S. practice of building walls between this nation and Mexico is historically unprecedented. It is also contrary to multiple manifestations of integration and hybridization that characterize interactions between the two nations, including the inevitable “Latinization” of the U.S. population. Through a consideration of past and present “psychogeographies” of border residents, Dear concludes that the borderlands have long been a separate space between Mexico and the U.S., even foreshadowing the emergence of a “third nation.”


Michael Dear is a newly-appointed professor of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design. He has just completed a multi-year 4,000-mile trip along the U.S.–Mexico border and uses this experience to reflect on the current and future status of the line between the two countries.