Graduate Colloquium: "Beyond the Borderlands: Migration and Belonging in the United States and Mexico"

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - 9:30am
Meyerson Hall, Room G-12

Author: Debra Lattanzi Shutika, Folklorist and Associate Professor of English at George Mason University.

Debra is a 2001 graduate of Penn’s Folklore Department and received a Graduate Certificate in Urban Studies from Penn.  Her book is based on her dissertation research.  Since the 1990s, migration from Mexico to the United States has moved beyond the borderlands to diverse communities across the country, with the most striking transformations in American suburbs and small towns. This study explores the challenges encountered by Mexican families as they endeavor to find their place in the U.S. by focusing on Kennett Square, a small farming village in Pennsylvania known as the "Mushroom Capital of the World." In a highly readable account based on extensive fieldwork among Mexican migrants and their American neighbors, Debra Lattanzi Shutika explores the issues of belonging and displacement that are central concerns for residents in communities that have become new destinations for Mexican settlement. Beyond the Borderlands also completes the circle of migration by following migrant families as they return to their hometown in Mexico, providing an illuminating perspective of the tenuous lives of Mexicans residing in, but not fully part of, two worlds.

From the inside flap:

"Beyond the Borderlands is a valuable addition to the growing literature on America's new immigrant destinations. Full of wonderful descriptions and insightful observations, this detailed study shows how Mexicans are making a place for themselves in one Pennsylvania town and reshaping the community in complex and unexpected ways." -Nancy Foner, author of In a New Land: A Comparative View of Immigration

"Debra Lattanzi Shutika offers a penetrating analysis. Her sensitive and insightful examination sheds bright light on the meaning of place, identity, and belonging in the United States today and constitutes essential reading for anyone seeking to comprehend the changing character of American society." -Douglas S. Massey, Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, Princeton University