From Americana to the Borderlands Consciousness: The Evolution of Violence from the Frontier to the Geo-Political Border between the United States and Mexico.

Enrico Jarod Doan. From Americana to the Borderlands Consciousness: The Evolution of Violence from the Frontier to the Geo-Political Border between the United States and Mexico. Honors Thesis, University of Washington. 2014.

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This project examines the tumultuous space of the U.S.-Mexico border as a highly contested space, from which an innumerable amount of discourses spring. More specifically, in this paper, I am interested in the mechanisms and effects of violence along the border, and track two major forms in my attempt to establish a kind of genealogy of the border. To do this, however, I look to the past, and argue that the space of the frontier is a residual element of the border; despite this, the frontier maintains a very powerful presence in the current moment. To this end, I read Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian as a text on the violence of the frontier, and attempt to work out the relationship between the two major forms of violence manifestly present. The first of these two major kinds of violence is what I term racial violence," and I mobilize the Foucauldian formulation of biopower in conjunction with this argument. The second of these is termed "representational violence," or rather, the Benjaminian notion of violence which is done in the act of selective history making. Finally, I argue that both of these kinds of violences are intensified and perpetuated along the current space of the border. The end goal of this simultaneously textual and theoretical endeavor is to ask how we, as literary critics, can more effectively read and challenge violence in our current moment. My hope is to, through this inquiry, raise the question of how we can express our resistance in answer to the need for "perpetual revolution" in the midst of the madness of the U.S.-Mexico border."

Status of Research or Work: 
Completed/published
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