Prototypical nepantla : border walls, land art, and the discursive in-between

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Harvey, Alhelí

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This thesis is an interdisciplinary analysis of the Border Wall Prototypes commissioned by the Trump administration through the signing of Executive Order 13767 on January 25, 2017. Through a hybrid analysis of place and body, this thesis seeks to expand upon existing scholarship addressing borderlands material realities by theorizing the links between spaces that enforce or invoke the international boundary through a barrier. In this way, I am able to theorize the discursive rupture enabled by the art collective Make Art Great Again’s reframing of the BWP as historical land art. I refer to this conceptual tear as a nepantla scenario, wherein I understand the BWP as creating a state of in-betweenness that disrupts the intentions of the State’s exclusionary geography. Throughout this thesis, I frame the Border Wall Prototypes as part of a conversation about border making events— infrastructural, legal, performed, artistic—in the U.S./Mexico border region.


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