Developing Border Studies in Mexico

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As part of the Yoshida Shigeru Chair Fund to promote international exchange, KUBS leader Akihiro IWASHITA gave an intensive lecture series on border studies at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), the country’s premier private university, in Mexico City from August 12. The 21 hours of instruction over ten days offered a wide-ranging overview of border studies, incorporating among other things materials and images produced by Hokkaido University’s 5 year Global COE program on “Reshaping Japan’s Border Studies”, an introduction and analysis of Japan’s border regions and territorial disputes, the negotiations over and fieldwork on the Sino-Russian border, and a global comparison of the US-Mexico and Eurasian borderlands.

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Professor IWASHITA also gave a special lecture at the University of Colima, on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, on August 22. While border studies is well-known in places like Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana along the US-Mexico border, there is little awareness of it in the capital or in towns along the Pacific Coast, and the sessions were of great interest to students and the other participants. The day cannot be far-off when what border studies has achieved in Japan and Eurasia becomes shared by Mexico and beyond, across the Guatemalan border and into South America.

Professor Iwashita would like to acknowledge and offer his thanks to all those involved in supporting this opportunity to disseminate the fruits of Japan’s border studies in Mexico, and particularly to the Mexico Director of the Japan Foundation fund, Masaru SUSAKI, and to Professor Ulises GRANADOS of ITAM.