US controversies: The US-Mexican border
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
Course Code: HAH19
Duration: 1 session
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.
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.
Jack Gain teaches courses on Latin American history and US foreign policy at City Lit. After becoming interested in Latin America at university, he went on to complete a Master's degree in Latin American Studies at the School of Advanced Study in 2010. His personal involvement in solidarity activism led him to focus on the Central American solidarity movement of the 1980s. His dissertation on that subject was specially commended by the judges of the Blakemore Prize. "Latin America was the place where the US first projected power beyond its own borders. It's not a region that we learn much about at school here in the UK. But its history gives us a uniquely insightful way of understanding US foreign policy — as well as being fascinating in its own right." Jack's teaching at City Lit focuses on the ways in which US foreign policy and domestic politics overlap and on bringing to life the voices of those overlooked by conventional histories. "Studying history gives you a powerful tool for understanding the world around you." Away from City Lit, he also works in the Library at Queen Mary University of London as a library assistant and writing tutor.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.