Introduction and Mission
The mission of the Texas Center for Border and Transnational Studies is to coordinate and conduct original research on the lower Texas-Mexico border by supporting faculty and students with their work and by fostering collaboration with external international institutions, faculty fellows and graduate students interested in conducting border research for the expressed purpose of problem solving and evaluation. The center seeks to provide data informing critical policy decisions made on or about border issues and to develop a curriculum supporting a certificate and undergraduate and graduate programs in border studies.
"The U.S.-Mexico Borderlands continues to be the milieu in which American and Mexican cultures adapt over the years and where the successful articulation of the two systems must be developed. In order to be knowledgeable about the Borderlands region, it is critical to know its unique history, institutions and people."2 – Ellwyn Stoddard, Sociologist UT-El Paso
The Texas center is critical given the need for research on pressing border issues which will inform policy decisions directed at improving quality of life in the cross-border region. The center will serve as the collaborative anchor at the lower or eastern end of the U.S.-Mexico border. The type and scope of research envisioned here is not currently being conducted by an institution of higher education on the lower border and only rarely on the border in general.
This center looks forward to the development of a new paradigm for border studies, based on applied research intended to assist in the solution of social and economic problems. The Texas-Mexico border from Laredo to Brownsville will serve as the center’s initial geo-political focus for research, and this is supported by the demographic projections for this region as anticipated from the 2010 U.S. Census.
New Paradigm for Border and Transnational Studies
2 Ellwyn R. Stoddard, The Borderlands Sourcebook, page 3