Department of Psychology and Sociology

Minors

Southwest Borderland Studies Program


Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s mission emphasizes the significance of South Texas as “an ethnically and culturally diverse region of the nation.” The Southwest Borderlands Studies program highlights this strength by engaging students and faculty in research and teaching which draws directly on our geographical and cultural positioning in a borderlands region. The Southwest Borderlands Studies program incorporates several component areas:

MINOR/COURSES:

Southwest Borderlands Studies (SWBS) offers two different minors: a minor in Southwest Borderlands Studies and a minor in Mexican American Studies. As interdisciplinary minors, they can add a distinctive component to the typical academic plan. A minor in Southwest Borderland/Mexican American studies is of particular interest to students pursuing careers in law enforcement, social work, criminal justice, education, international business, ecology, and sociology. Each minor requires 18 credit hours (typically 6 classes).

In addition, students of any major and minor are welcome to take the three SWBS courses offered by the program: SWBS 2301 Foundations of Mexican American Studies, SWBS 2302 Introduction to Southwest Borderlands Studies, and SWBS 4301 Bicultural Groups in the U.S. In addition, there are a number of courses relate to Southwest Borderlands Studies and Mexican American Studies which are offered each semester by departments across the university. These courses may be taken to satisfy the minor requirements, as approved by the SWBS program coordinator. Please see more information about the minor in Southwest Borderlands Studies, the minor in Mexican American Studies, and course offerings in the column links to the right.


SOUTHWEST BORDERLANDS STUDIES RESOURCE CENTER:

The Southwest Borderlands Studies program maintains a resource center which is dedicated to housing a collection of border-related research materials. The resource center, located in Manning Hall on the Texas A&M University-Kingsville campus, is intended to complement the archival, artifact, and manuscript collections housed at the South Texas Archives, the John E. Conner Museum, and the Jernigan Library. The resource center principally features a collection of print and media materials and is available to student-researchers as a centralized resource of border-related materials. In addition, the center maintains literature about graduate programs, internship and fieldwork opportunities, and careers in borderland studies- and Mexican American studies-related areas.


Do you want to add a distinctive component or area of study to your typical academic plan?

A minor in Southwest Borderlands or Mexican American Studies is of particular interest to students pursuing careers in law enforcement, social work, criminal justice, education, international business, ecology, and sociology. Both minors blend policy, history, concepts, and analytical tools. Many of the courses emphasize real-world applications, case studies, experiential learning, and field opportunities.

 A minor in Southwest Borderlands Studies requires eighteen (18) hours. This interdisciplinary minor focuses on sociocultural, economic, demographic and environmental aspects of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. SWBS 2302 Introduction to Southwest Borderlands Studies is required. Students may select from a list of additional courses to complete this minor. The list of applicable courses may be obtained from the program coordinator or Psychology/Sociology department chair (see “Who We Are / Contact Us”). No more than 9 semester hours in any discipline may apply toward the minor. Students may not count the same course toward both a major and a minor.

Do you want to add a distinctive component or area of study to your typical academic plan?

A minor in Southwest Borderlands or Mexican American Studies is of particular interest to students pursuing careers in law enforcement, social work, criminal justice, education, international business, ecology, and sociology. Both minors blend policy, history, concepts, and analytical tools. Many of the courses emphasize real-world applications, case studies, experiential learning, and field opportunities.

 A minor in Mexican American Studies requires eighteen (18) hours. This minor includes courses that focus on ancient and historic cultures, modern cultural studies, geography, history, music, political science, sociology, the Spanish language and Spanish literature, and regional studies of the Southwest Borderlands, which examine both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. SWBS 2301 Foundations in Mexican American Studies is required of all persons taking this minor. Students may select from a list of additional courses to complete this minor. The list of applicable courses may be obtained from the program coordinator or Psychology/Sociology department chair (see “Who We Are / Contact Us”). No more than 9 semester hours in any discipline may apply toward the minor. Students may not count the same course toward both a major and a minor. Students should have all of the prerequisites or permission from the instructor.

The Southwest Borderlands Studies program develops collaborative, multidisciplinary research projects which bring together faculty from diverse disciplines to explore the complexities of borderland spaces and their implications in today’s global society.

Many past and current research projects incorporate Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s rich institutional resources for border studies and Mexican American studies, including the John E. Conner Museum, South Texas Archives, Institute for Architectural Engineering Heritage, GeoSpatial Laboratory, and Center for Tejano Studies.

Some of our current projects and initiatives include:

  • South Texas Hispanic Farm Labor Communities Oral History Project
  • Rancho Colorado Cemetery Historic Preservation Project
  • Folk Healing in the Borderlands: A Longitudinal Study of Young Adults’ Attitudes Regarding Curanderismo, Mexican American Folk Healing Practices
  • Sustainable Community Development: Community Planning Study for the City of San Diego, Texas
  • South Texas Urban Parks Public Archaeology Project

Student Research Opportunities

Are you interested in taking part in borderland studies and Mexican American studies-related research? Many current research projects are actively involving undergraduate and graduate students in various stages of research, including project formulation, data gathering, interpretation, and public presentation. These include both paid and volunteer research assistant opportunities. Through both SWBS courses and research project experiences, students have the opportunity to conduct independent research, give professional presentations at regional and national conferences, and pursue publication. By building research, presentation, and publication experience, SWBS hopes to increase the preparation of Texas A&M University-Kingsville students for strong employment opportunities and graduate school.

Undergraduate students have presented the results of their research at conferences including:

American Anthropological Association

American Society for Ethnohistory

Southwest Psychological Association

Texas Oral History Association

Texas Archaeological Society

For more information about how to get involved, contact the program director:

Dr. Christine Reiser Robbins at Christine.robbins@tamuk.edu.

Southwest Borderlands Studies is housed out of the Department of Psychology and Sociology, but it integrates a range of departments and faculty interests at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, including a core group of faculty from Psychology & Sociology; Language & Literature; Art, Communications & Theatre; History, Political Science, Philosophy, & Criminal Justice; and Education. In one of the most unique features of the initiative, it strengthens collaborations across Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s colleges, involving students and faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences; College of Education and Human Performance; College of Agriculture, Natural Resources & Human Science; and the College of Engineering.

Program Coordinator for Southwest Borderlands Studies:

Dr. Christine Reiser Robbins
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
:
Email: Christine.robbins@tamuk.edu
Ph: 361-593-4828.