Skip to main content

ASU professor explores history of Mexican border towns in new book

Daniel Arreola
August 09, 2013

A new book written by ASU professor Daniel Arreola was recently published by the University of Texas Press. Titled, “Postcards from the Rio Bravo Border: Picturing the Place, Placing the Picture, 1900s-1950s,” it explores the history of Mexican border towns through nearly two hundred postcard images of five significant towns on the lower Rio Bravo: Matamoros, Reynosa, Nuevo Laredo, Piedras Negras and Villa Acuña.

The images depict how certain sites within each city have changed over time, demonstrating how imagery, when systematically and chronologically arranged, can be as effective as text or maps in telling the geographical story of a place. With the images included in his book, Arreola argues that visual imagery has a definite influence on how people think about and approach different places, as well as how those sites have been pictured for tourist consumption.

A professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and Affiliate Faculty with the School of Transborder Studies, Arreola also is the author of “The Mexican Border Cities: Landscape Anatomy and Place Personality,” “Tejano South Texas: A Mexican American Cultural Province” and “Hispanic Spaces, Latino Places: Community and Cultural Diversity in Contemporary America.” His research interests include landscapes, cultural identity, place-making, Mexican-American borderlands and Hispanic/Latino Americans.

More information regarding "Postcards from the Rio Bravo Border," can be found here.

The School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and the School of Transborder Studies are both academic units in ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.