Colloquia to look at US border issues north and south

The Fall 2012 Colloquia Series, hosted by ASU’s Comparative Border Studies, is titled “Border-to-Border: Mexico-U.S.-Canada,” and begins Sept. 14 with a talk by CBS's visiting fellow Holly Karibo.

The colloquium will take place from noon to 2 p.m., in the Memorial Union, Mohave Room (236), Tempe campus, and lunch is included. Space is limited and reservations are required at

Karibo, who earned her doctoral degree in the Collaborative Program in History and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto, will discuss her dissertation topic, “Ambassadors of Pleasure: Illicit Economies in the Detroit-Windsor Borderland, 1945-1960.”

During her time as a visiting fellow at ASU, Karibo will expand her research to consider how the U.S.-Mexico border shaped public perceptions of heroin trafficking in Canada and the United States.

Karibo said that Windsor became known as a “sin city” for several reasons. “When they cross borders, people feel they can do things they couldn’t do at home. They felt different. Plus, there was a price advantage because of the exchange rate, and the drinking age is 19 in Windsor.”

The potential for illicit activities in Windsor was great because, Karibo said, “Detroit-Windsor is the busiest crossing point in Canada, and there are substantially sized cities on both sides.”

Karibo will now look at “how the U.S.-Mexico border has shaped public perceptions of heroin trafficking in Canada and the United States.”

Many people never associate the U.S.-Canada border with drug smuggling, Karibo said, but smugglers began routing heroin through Canada when the U.S. borders were tightened.

“The United States blamed Mexico for the heroin problem, and Canada blamed the United States,” she said.

Other speakers in the series are:

David Román, noon-2 p.m., Sept. 28, Memorial Union Mohave Room (236). Román is a professor of English and American Studies at the University of Southern California. He is the author of “Acts of Intervention: Performance, Gay Culture, & AIDS.” His research focuses on theater and performance studies, with an emphasis on contemporary U.S. Culture; and Latina/o studies with an emphasis on popular culture, among other areas. He currently is writing a book on the cultural politics of Broadway from the 1930s to the present.

Daniel Arreola, noon-2 p.m., Oct. 26, Memorial Union Cochise Room (228). Arreola is a 2012-2013 Comparative Border Studies grant recipient. He received his doctorate in cultural geography from UCLA. He has published extensively in scholarly journals and in book chapters on topics relating to the cultural geography of the Mexican-American borderlands. He is a professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at ASU. His forthcoming book is “Postcards From the Rio Bravo Border: Picturing the Place, Placing the Picture, 900s-1950s.”

Drew Lopenzina, noon-2 p.m., Nov. 9, Memorial Union La Paz Room (242). Lopenzina teaches early American and Native American literature at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. His research explores the intersections between indigenous and colonial cultures in North America. He is the author of “Red Ink: Native Americans Picking up the Pen in the Colonial Period.” His latest project is a cultural biography of the 19th century Pequot minister and activist William Apess.

Reservations also are required for these colloquia. For more information about Comparative Border Studies, which is a unit of the School of Transborder Studies, contact Elizabeth Cantú, executive coordinator, at 480-727-7583 or