Skip to main content

ASU selected as host for the Association for Borderlands Studies

A map of Mexico.
January 25, 2018

As the conversations surrounding borderlands continue to evolve, so too does Arizona State University's role as a thought leader in the global discourse on borderland studies.

ASU, in association with the School of Transborder StudiesThe School of Transborder Studies is an academic unit in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences., has been selected as the host institution for the Association for Borderland Studies (ABS).

The association is the leading global, scholarly association in the field of borderland studies, with more than 1700 memberships in 55 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. Members include individual scholars, international organizations, and professionals from various universities, who are dedicated to the systematic study and exchange of ideas related to borderlands and frontier areas.

As the host institution, ASU will assume ABS's administrative duties to both support and amplify the association's goals.

The importance of ASU’s commitment to borderland studies in Arizona should come as no surprise, said Francisco Lara-Valencia, associate professor in the School of Transborder Studies and ABS president-elect.

“If you consider that the major trading partner of Arizona is Mexico, and that one in three Arizonans have some connection with Mexico, it is easy to fathom the importance of border studies for ASU,” Lara-Valencia said.

But behind the veil of Arizona and Mexico’s mutual economic partnership, lies a parallel, national conversation about border security and immigration, Lara-Valencia added: "One portraying it as a resource, and the other one as a hazard.” 

Being in Arizona provides ABS and ASU with the unique opportunity to be engaged in the global conversation about borders and transborder social, cultural, economic, political, and environmental realities. 

“In many ways, Arizona is ground zero for border studies,” said Lara-Valencia. “Scholars and policy-makers in other border regions of the world are looking at Arizona for understanding and experience that can be useful in explaining their own border realities.”

ABS hosts an annual conference with its members and publishes a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal. More information about the Association for Borderland Studies can be found at

Top photo: "Mexico, 1857," School of Transborder Studies Gallery. Photo by Andy DeLisle (2014)

More Local, national and global affairs


Professor speaking to students in a room used for diplomatic hearings.

Public Service Day aims to increase awareness, encourage careers in the sector

In 2002, the United Nations’ General Assembly declared June 23 as Public Service Day. The designation is meant to celebrate those in the public service community and to encourage younger generations…

Ukrainian flag against a stormy sky.

ASU honors student authors book celebrating beauty, culture of Ukraine

Arizona State University student Camille S. Campbell believes the beauty and culture of Ukraine should be preserved and shared, even in a time of war. That’s why she wrote “Colors of Ukraine,” a…

Halla Tomasdottir addresses supporters in Reykjavik [Halldor Kolbeins/AFP]

Thunderbird at ASU alum Halla Tómasdóttir elected president of Iceland

Halla Tómasdóttir, an esteemed alumna of Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University, has been elected as the next president of Iceland. Tómasdóttir, who earned her master’s…