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2012 SIAH

Borderlands: Power, Place, and Difference

This year’s Institute explores the power of borderlands. Beyond the geopolitical, borderlands are real and imagined spaces that can be experienced in social, political and spiritual ways. Borders are shaped by globalization, legacies of colonial dominance and expansion, and the shifting valences of decolonial projects within and beyond the Americas. Even though borderlands are frequently located at the peripheries of empires and nations, students will explore a number of domains related to borderland concerns: the borders of nation-states; borders of race, gender, sexuality, species, and multiple forms of social difference; the borders of citizenship and law; borders of popular culture; and the longstanding and subjugated borderlands of Indigenous peoples throughout the globe. Through the development of individual research projects, students will gain experience in cross-disciplinary and collaborative research methods and practice.

UW (Bothell, Seattle, & Tacoma) undergraduates with curiosity about borders of race, place, community and political formations, and cultural practices from any arts, humanities, or social science majors are encouraged to apply.

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Teaching Team

José Antonio Lucero

Jackson School of International Studies |

José Antonio Lucero was born and raised in the Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua/El Paso, Texas borderlands. He is associate professor in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington and Chair of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program. Lucero’s main research and teaching interests include Indigenous politics, social movements, Latin American politics, and borderlands. Lucero is the author of Struggles of Voice: The Politics of Indigenous Representation in the Andes (University of Pittsburgh Press. 2008) and the co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Indigenous Peoples Politics (under contract with Oxford University Press). He is the Principal Investigator on the “B/ordering Violence” Mellon Sawyer Seminar Grant.

Carolyn Pinedo Turnovsky

American Ethnic Studies and Law, Societies, and Justice |

Carolyn Pinedo Turnovsky is an Assistant Professor with a joint-appointment in AES and LSJ. Her research and courses examine race and gender ideology in shaping the statuses and experiences of immigrants as workers in the US. Earlier work focused on the situation of day labor in New York City. Her developing work continues looking at im/migration in the US including diverse expressions of law and policy in shaping spaces of membership and rights. She’s written a book manuscript, “Daily Labors. Marketing Identity and Bodies on a New York City Street Corner,”(under review) and helped publish a collaborative book with community members, In the Shadows of Paradise. Testimonies from the Undocumented Immigrant Community in Santa Barbara.

Raj Chetty

English |

Raj Chetty is a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Washington, Seattle, having received his MA in English from Brigham Young University. He studies Caribbean literature and culture from the English-, Spanish-, and French-language parts of the area, with specific interests in performance, African diasporas, and radical politics. His dissertation specifically focuses on the intersection between performance, politics, race, and gender in 20th century Caribbean theater projects, analyzing works by Trinidadian C.L.R. James, Jamaica’s Sistren Theatre Collective, Puerto Rican Francisco Arriví, and Dominican-American Junot Díaz. Raj is also a co-organizer of the Simpson Center-sponsored Graduate Interest Group, Performing the Gap: Performance as Political and Popular Transformation, a group that fosters a critical examination of performance as a site for conceptualizing contemporary cultural practices, modernity, citizenship, and democracy. Raj has taught courses in composition and literature, including courses on 20th Century Caribbean literature, Haitian literature, and Cultural Studies and Baseball.

Simón Trujillo


Simón Trujillo is a doctoral candidate in the English department at the University of Washington, Seattle. He currently teaches courses on Chicana/o and African American cultural studies and American Ethnic Literatures for the department of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at UW, Bothell. Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Trujillo’s dissertation project investigates the mestiza/o cultural politics of the New Mexican Land-grant reclamation movement, La Alianza Federal de Mercedes. He is also a co-organizer of the graduate student research cluster, The Race/Knowledge Project, sponsored by the Simpson Center for the Humanities. Taken together, his research and teaching interests attempt to articulate the connections between cultural production, intersectional theories of race, sex, gender, and class, and modes of decolonial knowledge production.

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