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In Fall and Spring 2023, The Sawyer Seminar is hosting a public-facing community program called the “Border Zone Forum” that includes film screenings about the politics of migration patterns in the US and Latin America at  Tucson’s independent film house, “The Loft,” a talk about the the changing conditions of immigration law, a public forum with representatives from local organizations about their work with migrants over the last five years on the Arizona-Sonora border, and colloquium about “Literature of the Border.”

A list of the “Border Zone Forum” events appears below:

La Lorona (Guatemala, 2019). Screening at Loft Cinema, November 1 at 7 pm (discussion with Prof. Orquidea Morales, Film and Television). In Collaboration with the Hansen Film Institute (UA)

1991 (Guatemala, 2020). Screening at Loft Cinema, November 17 at 7 pm (discussion with Professors Liz Oglesby, Latin American Studies and Orquidea Morales, Film and Television). In Collaboration with the Hansen Film Institute (UA)

“Martha’s Vineyard and Beyond: Current Immigration Issues.” March 13 at 4 pm, College of Law Room 168. Talk by Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal (Executive Director, of Lawyers for Civil Rights). In collaboration with the Bacon Immigration Law and Policy Program.

America’s Family (United States, 2022) Screening at Loft Cinema, April 4 at 7:30 pm, (discussion with Anika Tourse, Filmmaker, moderated by Professor Beverly Secklinger, Film and Television). In collaboration with the Hansen Film Institute and DocScapes.

Border Zone Forum. April 12 at 5 pm, ENR2 Building, Room S107 . Discussion with Liz Gaxiola (Organizer of La Casa de Papel), Christy Stewart (Volunteer Organizer from Casa Alitas), and Laura Bellous (Lawyer from the Florence Project), moderated by Leerom Medovoi (Professor of English, P.I. of the Sawyer Seminar)

Crossing the Border: A Study in Literature and Practice. April 18 at 9:30 am. ENR2 Building, Room N595. Public Dialogue with Todd Miller (journalist and author of Storming the Wall) and Francisco Cantú (author of The Line Becomes a River). Moderated by Johanna Skibsrud (Professor of English) and undergraduate students from English 228)

The three guiding questions of this Border Zone Forum series are:

  • How did the neoliberal turn associated with NAFTA in the 1990s affect the social, cultural, political or natural environment and the human needs in our local border zone?
  • What new developments and needs accompany the explosion of populist border policing today, including detentions, militarization, and wall-building?
  • How might we teach about these various changes in the classroom or elsewhere?