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The Fence and the River

1999
Author:

Claire F. Fox

The Fence and the River

Looks at literary and artistic representations of the U.S. border with Mexico.

The U.S.-Mexico border has not only been the site of volatile debates, most recently prompted by migration policies and NAFTA, but it has also been a source of artistic inspiration. In The Fence and the River, Claire Fox offers an extensively illustrated study that asks how the art produced about this particular region-from picture postcards to films and performances-reflects political and economic transformations occurring worldwide.

Claire Fox elegantly criss-crosses disciplines in this important book, weaving together rigorous scholarship with subtle readings of literature, film, photography, plastic and performance art. Her carefully historicized discussions of U.S.-Mexican cultural relations in the transnational era represent a major contribution to border studies and cultural studies.

Cynthia Steele, Stanford Humanities Center

The U.S.-Mexico border has not only been the site of volatile debates, most recently prompted by migration policies and NAFTA, but it has also been a source of artistic inspiration. In The Fence and the River, Claire Fox offers an extensively illustrated study that asks how the art produced about this particular region-from picture postcards to films and performances-reflects political and economic transformations occurring worldwide.

Starting with a discussion of photography and film about the Mexican Revolution, The Fence and the River traces the representations of this renowned border in twentieth-century art and popular culture. Among the other literary and artistic efforts Fox explores are Mexican novels and films about border crossing, images of the fence and the river in Chicano/a art and documentary video, border-crossing performance art, and the futuristic border of speculative fiction. Finally, the author examines the work of activists along the border and the writing of U.S. and Mexican intellectuals.

Interweaving literary and artistic representations, contemporary political debates, and an international perspective, The Fence and the River brings an exciting interdisciplinary approach to border studies.

The Fence and the River

Claire F. Fox is assistant professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Stanford University.

The Fence and the River

Claire Fox elegantly criss-crosses disciplines in this important book, weaving together rigorous scholarship with subtle readings of literature, film, photography, plastic and performance art. Her carefully historicized discussions of U.S.-Mexican cultural relations in the transnational era represent a major contribution to border studies and cultural studies.

Cynthia Steele, Stanford Humanities Center

Tracing The Fence and the River, Claire Fox conducts a fascinating, multi-faceted foray into the intricate and contested sociohistory of the U.S.-Mexican border, that 2000-mile long contact-zone between two colossal nations, illuminating myriad expressions of border culture along the way-from penny postcard wartime mementos to in-your-face performance art.

Julianne Burton-Carvajal, Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz

A valuable piece of scholarship.

Hispanic Outlook

A brilliant contribution to cultural work on the U.S.-Mexico border and to the emerging field of cultural studies of the Americas.

American Literature