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IASA VII World Congress Conference Comes to TAMIU July 19 - 21 Posted: 7/11/17

IASA VII World Congress Conference Comes to TAMIU July 19 - 21


Border Congress

This week, July 19 - 21, some 200+ academics and researchers from around the world will converge in Laredo for the first-ever International American Studies Association (IASA) World Congress held in the United States at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU).

The Congress theme is “Marginalia: The Borders of the Border,” said IASA president and Congress chair, Dr. Manuel Broncano, Regents Professor at TAMIU.

“This theme was selected because of the geopolitical role that borders play and have played in the world, and very especially in the Americas. The Congress is interested in looking into those areas in-between borders that constitute a liminal space, a “no-man’s land” in which individuals are oftentimes trapped without the possibility of moving,” Dr. Broncano explained.

He noted that Laredo and TAMIU’s unique geographic position also figured prominently in selection for the first-ever U.S. site for the Congress.

“Laredo was chosen because of its unique position on the US-Mexican border and the fact that Laredo and Nuevo Laredo conform a de facto transnational urban center. As IASA president, I’m also proud to be able to bring this group of scholars to my hometown and University,” he observed, “and I am sure this event will provide a valuable opportunity for the city and the region to project its true image nationally and internationally, beyond the stereotypes, such as drug violence, which are unfortunately applied to Laredo. As the busiest inland port in the Americas—and former capital of the short-lived Republic of the Río Grande—Laredo certainly offers an exceptional site for an academic conversation on borders and frontiers.”

Congress participants will delve into the Congress’ theme from various perspectives including cultural, economic, cultural, literary, sociological and political approaches. A number of presenters are addressing issues related to bilingualism and educational strategies on the US-Mexican frontier.  Participants will present in English, Spanish and Portuguese.  A program is located here.

Among plenary speakers are Alberto Moreiras, professor of Hispanic Studies at Texas A&M University, a founder of three major journals in the field, coeditor for three, and author of a book series, “Border Hispanisms; ” Marietta Messmer of the University of Groningen (The Netherlands)  department of American Studies, and managing editor of the book series Interamericana, and former Laredoan, William A. Nericcio, a Saint Augustine High School graduate who now directs the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences (MALAS) program at San Diego State University, serves as professor of English and Comparative Literature, and is author of the American Library Association award-winning cultural studies volume Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of the "Mexican" in America.

Also part of the Conference are two sessions featuring or including Laredo-born writer and now Trinity University professor  Norma Cantú. Cantú will chair one session,  “Entre Guadalupe y Malinche: Tejana Writers Talk Literature on the Border.”  Another focuses on Cantú herself  with Gabriella Gutíerrez y Muhs of Seattle University chairing “Norma E. Cantú:  The Writer and her Critics (A Round Table).

Other panel discussions will include: “From Marginalized Border to Intercultural Competence:  Comprehending Checkpoints through Tharp’s Funnel – No Longer Living in Limbo;” “Walls: Past, Present and Future;” “Visualizing the Invisible: Documentaries;” “Border Identities,” and “The Border is/as Mirror: Foucauldian/Paredesian Reflections on Existential Barbwire and Real Concrete Along the U.S.-México Border,” among many more.

Broncano said that as part of the IASA’s interest in sharing its members’ research and opportunities for insight, members of the general public will be invited to attend all academic and most social events. Those interested in receiving a certificate of attendance will need to register for the Congress. 

Originally from Spain, Broncano joined TAMIU in 2009. He directs the University’s English and Spanish programs. His most recent publication is the acclaimed  “Religion in Cormac McCarthy’s Fiction: Apocryphal Borderlands” (Routledge). He has also translated author Giannina Braschi’s book, “United States of Banana,” among others, and recently delivered the inaugural keynote address at the MELOW: The Society for the Study of Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the World’s 16th International Conference in Chandigarh, India.

Registration information and additional IASA VIII World Congress details, and costs are available on the IASA’s dedicated web site, located at or by email at


Dr. Norma E. Cantu
Dr. Norma E. Cantú
Dr. William A. Nericcio
Dr. William A. Nericcio