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Date Permissions Signed
Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Rossiter, David A.
Buckley, Patrick H.
The territorial conquest involved in making and regulating an international boundary has been central to the creation of many nation-states, as well as to the production of various social categories around those boundaries, particularly citizenship and nationality, but also race, ethnicity, and class. This research aims to analyze how cartographic representations of the U.S.-Mexico border function to communicate social difference. Drawing ideas from critical cartography and social constructivism, I highlight the ways in which maps of this particular border space are not merely objective representations, but rather embody powerful political discourses that have constitutive effects on the identities, and thus treatment, of individuals and collectives engaging in the border region. I trace a genealogy of U.S. cartographic discourse/representation of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands to build critical perspectives on the way knowledge and information are presented through maps, particularly how they work to narrate inclusion and exclusion. This project yields political and social implications as it illuminates the production and definition of a dominant U.S. nation-state in relation to Mexico, the two countries' shared border space, and furthermore illustrates how cartographic discourse can play a major role in how people understand and reconstruct the U.S.-Mexico border.
Cartography--Mexican-American Border Region--History, Cartography--Mexican-American Border Region--Social conditions, Cartography--Political aspects--Mexican-American Border Region, Mexican-American Border Region--History--Maps
Western Washington University
Mexican-American Border Region
Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.
Rose, Austin, "Maps as discourse in the borderlands: an analysis of the cartographies of power on the U.S.-Mexico 'frontier'" (2012). WWU Graduate School Collection. 226.