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Borderland Visualities

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Celeste Menchaca

on 4 December 2012

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Transcript of Borderland Visualities

Technologies of Sight and the Production of the U.S.-Mexico Border, 1848 - 1942 Borderland Visualities: Considers the role of visuality in the production of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands from 1848 to 1940.



Visual techniques illuminate how practices of looking and observation were integral to processes of U.S. empire and conquest in the southwest.



Considers how sight informs relations of power, constructs place and constitutes subjects.
How do visibility and/or technologies of sight function as a strategy of empire and state building along the U.S.-Mexico borderlands?


How do visual systems of regulation and information operate along the U.S.-Mexico border?


What is the relationship between place, subject formation, visual systems of regulation and the construction of the borderlands?


How do gender, race, sexuality and class inform this visual system of production? Research Questions The Premise Visuality Relations of power reinforced through practices of looking, (in)visibility and information

Explores four visions: scientific, architectural, surveillance and subterranean

Sight is not always tangible = investigate its traces. Borderlands and the Visual Field:
U.S. Empire and Visual Systems + = Considers how the visual practices of army scientists and naturalists constituted a new field of vision along the U.S.-Mexico Border

Scientific vision: the act of observing scientific phenomenon and ordering these observations into classificatory systems Chapter 1
Scientific Vision: Marking a Boundary Line 1848-1898 Chapter 3
Staging Crossings: Survelling, Policing and Performing Difference at the U.S.- Mexico Border, 1906-1942 "Staging Crossings" moves the dissertation from the staging of border towns to the surveillance of crossing the international borderline


Explores how border patrol men used visuality to naturalize and legitimate their authority over the boundary line.


It also considers the dialectical performances from Mexican women and Chinese and Japanese migrants who were monitored and detained prior to 1924. Chapter 4
Subterranean Vision and Technologies of Extraction in Bisbee, Arizona, 1883-1942 Company geologists engaged in prospecting to "see" and extract underground minerals.

Explores the efforts and failures to manage labor on the "shop floor" and in company towns.

Employee and family efforts to establish their own visual knowledge of the mining landscape.

Phelps Dodge Corporation / James Douglas Chapter 2
Architectural Vision: Designing a Border Town, Managing Sight Lines, 1880-1920 Examines El Paso and Juarez's city layouts and structures as measures of relations of power.


Asks what can the material environment of border towns tell us about visual geographies of power?


How does visibility influence the intersections between place making and subjectivities? Chapter Titles Chapter 1:
Scientific Vision: Marking a Boundary Line 1848-1898

Chapter 2:
Architectural Vision: Designing Border Towns, Managing Sight Lines, 1880-1920

Chapter 3:
Staging Crossings: Surveilling, Policing and Performing Difference at the U.S.-Mexico Border, 1906-1942

Chapter 4:
Subterranean Vision and Technologies of Extraction in Bisbee, Arizona, 1883-1942 Scientific Vision National Archives, Record Group 76: Record of Boundary and Claims Commissions and Arbitrations
Proceedings of U.S.-Mexico Boundary Commission
Correspondence between commissioner and Washington
Field notebooks of A.W. Whipple, acting chief astronomer
invoice and receipts for astronomical instruments
progress journals for surveying in 1892 Smithsonian
Spencer F. Baird Papers, 1833-1889
Instruments for Science, 1800-1914: Scientific Trade Catalogs Collection

West Point Archives (Record Group 404 of National Archives): Academy publications; the post newspaper, Pointer View; Annual Reports of the Superintendent

Huntington Library
Directions for collecting, preserving and transporting specimens of natural history
Bartlett Papers: The Mexican Boundary Commission papers of John R. Bartlett, 1850-1853
Reports of Explorations and Surveys The ways in which the state and other institutions collect, classify, store and disseminate information and knowledge about the borderlands. University of Texas at El Paso, Special Collections: City Directories (1885-1906); Hugh Bascom Wilson Railroad Collection; Richard C. Hagerty Railroad Collection; C.S. Sonnichesen Papers, 1861-1991; El Paso County Records

El Paso County Historical Society: Borderland Maps, architectural drawings

Border Heritage Center of El Paso Public Library: Henry Trost architectural drawings, Robert Altman photo collection, Juarez city documents

University of Texas at Austin: Robert Altman Papers

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps Architectural Vision Surveillance National Archives, Record Group 85: Records of Immigration and Naturalization Service
Board of Special Inquiry transcripts
Letters/correspondence on border guardhouses and facilities
Training manuals
Chinese smuggling reports
Statistics
Investigations/Testimony

National Border Patrol Museum, Archives

El Paso Newspapers: SDSU microflim

Memoirs/Biographies: Border Patrolmen Sight informatics: Subterranean Vision Huntington Library: Phelps Dodge Papers

Phelps Dodge Corporation archives, Phoenix

Arizona Mining Journal; Engineering and Mining Journal (USC); Mohave County Miner (Chronicling America); Prospector

Northern University of Arizona, special collections, Phelps Dodge Corporation

Shattuck Memorial Research Library at Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum

University of Texas at El Paso, special collections: Chisos Mining Comapny Records, 1909-1932; Mexican Mining Collection 1892

National Archives: Record Group 70: Records of the U.S. Bureau of Mines Information circulars 1925-1990 Questions? Theolodite Transit U.S. Bureau of Mines Information Circular: Globe Arizona
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