What is the course about?
Uncover the vexed history of America’s southern border, from the frontier to the border wall. This one-day course looks at border enforcement, migration and the roots of anti-immigrant sentiment using film, photography, and primary sources.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
-Straddling the frontier: the early history of the US-Mexican border
-“Deportable labour”: The Bracero programme and ‘Operation Wetback’
-The free movement of goods: NAFTA, globalisation and the war on drugs
-The roots of nativism: anti-immigrant sentiment in the US from the 1920s to Trump.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Understand the ways in which the enforcement of the US-Mexican border has developed over time.
- Discuss the origins of anti-immigrant sentiment in the US, the ways in which Mexican migration has influenced US society and the how the idea of the border has figured in the US political imagination over time.
- Analyse contemporary news stories about the border in light of its history.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an `introductory` level course and does not assume any previous study or reading although you will need a
reasonable standard of English to keep up with the course. As with most of our history and current affairs courses,
an open mind and a willingness to listen to and think about views with which you do not always agree are more
important than specific levels of skills.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Lectures, small group work/discussions, larger class discussions will be supplemented by video, articles and other sourced reading materials (including governmental and advocacy group reports, etc.). You will gain more from the course, in terms of enjoyment and learning, if you are able and willing to do some supplementary reading outside of class meetings and participate in in-class discussions. You may also have the opportunity to explore more resources for discussion in classroom-based activities – including possible use of computers during in-class small group work.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
None. Pen and paper for taking any notes during the course.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You may be interested in our current 'US controversies' series. See our website for details.