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Humanities Speaker Series: Examining the Border Wall Dispute from a Multi-Dimensional Perspective

March 30, 2017


CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The College of Liberal Arts (CLA) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi hosted Dr. Karl Jacoby, Professor of History at Columbia University, in its Humanities Speaker Series, in the University Center, Anchor Ballroom on March 28. Jacoby addressed a packed house on “Drawing the Line: Lessons from Thinking Historically about the US-Mexico Border.” 

“We enjoy presenting these types of series, bringing speakers to talk to students on real, timely, and relevant topics, by tying modern events to what is studied in the classroom,” said Dr. Mark Hartlaub, CLA Dean. 

Jacoby offered a balanced panorama of the socio-political, socio-economic, and socio-cultural issues tied to the immigration of Mexicans and South Americans into the United States. He specifically addressed ongoing heated debates fueled by extreme points of view and inherent confirmation bias. He offered insight from three historical episodes, highlighting the rich cultural history of the border as it existed as a unique geographical region with its own heritage and customs.  Through colorful examples, he noted a shift from the border’s original purpose of keeping people inside the US to the current heated arguments on keeping immigrants out. 

“We occupy a time in which many areas of humanities are under assault, both in budget cuts to educational programs and in the real world on a daily basis,” said Jacoby. “Humanities are essential to developing a reasonable response to the dilemmas of our era.” 

The audience represented a wide range of studies and disciplines, including English, history, psychology, communications, nursing, pre-law, and political science, indicative of an inherent tie between humanities and all other scholarly arenas. 

“Dr. Jacoby’s presentation emphasized the role of the humanities in understanding the current debate about the border and underscores the ways in which history, writing and other arts and sciences continue to help us think about the present in different and important ways,” said Dr. Kevin Concannon, Chair of the Department of English at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

The CLA is excited about future speakers who will continue to inspire students to examine today’s complex societal challenges. For more information on the Humanities Speaker Series and future events, go HERE.

The Humanities Speaker Series is funded by the Division of Research, Commercialization and Outreach at A&M-Corpus Christi.