The 3,152 kilometer border between Mexico and the United States (borderlands) represents the biggest border line currently existing between two nations and is one of the most productive areas for debates in the field of literary and cultural studies on border phenomena.
Studies of border regions offer numerous new opportunities for research as well as contribute to a new paradigm in the understanding trans-national phenomena and social processes associated with the accelerating globalization of our time. Through the excursion, our students enjoyed a “border experience,” giving them access to cultural productions and social features and engaging them with relevant contemporary theoretical discussions in cultural studies and the social sciences. These are delimited and demarked from different levels (genre, class, race etc.).
The excursion to Mexico City and Mexico's northern border with the USA, which took place from 22 February to 8 March 2006, is part of a regional inter-disciplinary project involving the Latin America Institute and the University of Potsdam's Institute of Hispanic Letters.
At the excursion's three places of residence (Mexico city, Tijuana, and San Diego), the participants met with students and scholars at cooperating Mexican scientific institutions and together presented and discussed their projects in workshops, lectures, and discussion. After the two-week common program, students conducted individual research projects along the border.