Border issues research focus of CSBS annual conference
Contact: Office of Public Affairs (956) 665-2741
Posted: 04/09/2012
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Current research on important border issues is the focus of the Sixth Annual Research Conference of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at The University of Texas-Pan American.

The conference, titled " Fronteras y Puentes: Understanding and Transforming Borders through Social Science Research," is scheduled for April 12-13 and is open to anyone interested in topics such as geo-political demarcation and security (fences and walls), trafficking and smuggling of people and products, health disparities, crossing borders and migration, arrest and sentencing disparities, deportations, borders of identity, language, culture and traditions, and research centered on borderlands, communities and institutions.

The event will highlight the latest news and research through panel sessions and workshops and undergraduate and graduate student research poster presentations. The conference will also include a panel on diabetes in the Hispanic community and a Student-Alumni Networking Social for graduate students and Pan Am graduates.

Besides presentations and discussions led by UTPA faculty members, the conference will also feature the following guest speakers and conference participants: RocĂ­o Magana, assistant professor of anthropology at Rutgers University, who will talk about "Criminalizing Water: The Right to Rescue, the politics of Protection, and Migrant Lives on the American Border Desert; Edinburg attorney Cynthia Renteria, who will speak on "The Impact of Criminal Cases on Immigration Cases;" and Michael Montoya, associate professor of anthropology at the University of California, Irvine, who will present on "UnMaking the Mexican Diabetic: Race, Science, and the Promise of Community Knowledge." A closing ceremony presentation on U.S.-Mexico relations in 2012 and beyond will be given by Dr. Pamela Starr, director of the U.S. Mexico Network at the University of California.

During the conference, guests are invited to celebrate the grand opening of the Border Studies Archive April 13 at the UTPA Library, which will feature a presentation on the importance of archival research by Dr. Martha Menchaca, professor of anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. Menchaca's most recent book, "Naturalizing Mexican Immigrants: A Texas History," was published by UT Press in May 2011.

Access the conference website for a complete schedule of activities, times and locations. The conference and pre-conference workshop are free to all students regardless of institutional affiliation, plus UTPA faculty and staff. Conference registration for non-UTPA faculty, staff and community members is $35. Pre-conference workshop registration is $75. Deadline for registration is April 11 at midnight. On-site registration will be available on April 12 and 13. You may register at

For more information contact Dr. Jessica Lavariega-Monforti, conference chair and assistant dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, at (956) 665-3551 or