Cecilia Ballí

Ethel-Jane Westfeldt Bunting Summer Scholar


The Fence and the School: Border Enforcement in the Age of National Security

Cecilia BallíCecilia Ballí2010 Ethel-Jane Westfeldt Bunting Summer Scholar
Cecilia Ballí
Cecilia Ballí (3-D)Cecilia Ballí (3-D)Courtesy of Jason S. Ordaz

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Cecilia Ballí (3-D)

In her book project, Ceclia Ballí examines the impact of the Secure Fence Act on the Lower Grande Valley in South Texas. She demonstrates how everyday life was transformed by the 2006 Congressional mandate to construct a 600-mile security fence along the United States-Mexico border. Based on nine-months of research, she spent the first half of her tenure cataloging materials and writing the ethnographic scenes that will form part of the manuscript. She devoted the second part of her tenure to writing an essay on the violation of human and civil rights by the Mexican military in its efforts to curb drug violence in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. This involved organizing over 600 documents and news stories that she had collected. She attributes her accomplishments to SAR, which “gifted me with human resources that have already made a difference in my professional trajectory.” In fact, given the timeliness of her study, she was invited to share the results of her work with Governor Bill Richardson at a private dinner party. “This is truly a special place that I leave reinvigorated as a scholar.”

Affiliation at time of award:
Department of Anthropology, University of Texas, Austin

Sponsored by Ethel-Jane Westfeldt Bunting Foundation

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