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ASU scholars look 'beyond borders' in colloquia series

August 22, 2013

Three academic seminars for scholars to discuss cultures and communities created and challenged by geopolitical and cultural boundaries are being hosted by Comparative Border Studies at Arizona State University this fall. “Beyond North America: Global Borders” is its fall 2013 colloquia series, launching Sept. 13 with a talk by 2013-2014 postdoctoral research associates Laia Soto Bermant and Megan Carney.

All three colloquia events are open to the public and scheduled noon to 2 p.m., Fridays, in Memorial Union 224, Gila Room, on ASU’s Tempe campus. Lunch is included for all registered guests. Reservations are required and can be made at

ASU's Comparative Border Studies hosts the colloquia series in order to create opportunities for scholars and give them a forum where they can workshop their work. It is expanding the dialogue from its 2012-2013 theme, “Border-to Border: Mexico-U.S.-Canada,” to this year’s broader idea of “Beyond North America: Global Borders.”

Soto Bermant received her doctorate from the University of Oxford, where she explored the links that tie Melilla to the neighboring Moroccan province of Nador. She will discuss her current work, which continues the same line of inquiry with an ethnographic study of a border-town located on the top periphery of Melilla.

Carney received her doctorate from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she examined the lived experience of food insecurity among Mexican and Central American migrant women living in southern California. Her research included state approaches to health disparities in migrant communities. Carney is currently engaged in two projects that further speak to her interest in women’s migration, transnational health practices, the body and borderlands.

Other events and speakers in the colloquia series include the following:

Oct. 4:

Rudy Guevarra, Jr. is assistant professor of Asian Pacific American Studies in the School of Social Transformation at ASU. His current project, Aloha Compadre, examines historical and contemporary migrations of Latina/os to Hawaii and the broader Pacific region.

Matthew Kester completed his doctorate in U.S. history at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research and teaching address the intersections of history, memory and culture in Oceania and the western U.S. He is also interested in race, immigration and citizenship in western and southwestern North America in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Lily Anne Yumi Welty received her doctorate in history from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research examines the race and identity formation of Japanese-American multiracial people born following World War II. Her objective is to gather oral histories from mixed-race people of this generation and combine them with archival sources.

Oct. 18:

Arlene Dávilla is the fall 2013 CBS Scholar-In-Residence. She is a professor of anthropology and American studies at New York University. Her research examines issues related to urban ethnography, the political economy of culture and media, creative economies and consumption, immigration, and geographies of inequality and race.

For more information about Comparative Border Studies, a strategic research initiative within the School of Transborder Studies, an academic unit in ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, contact Elizabeth Cantú, executive coordinator, at (480) 727-7583 or