Founded In    2008
Published   semiannually
Language(s)   English, Spanish

Fields of Interest



ISSN   ISSN: 1867-1519
Affiliated Organization   American Studies section of the English Department at Bielefeld University, Germany; "International Association of Inter-American Studies" (http://www.interam
Editorial Board

General Editor:
Prof. Wilfried Raussert, Bielefeld University, Germany

Assistant Editors:
Alethea R. Wait, Bielefeld University
Christina Seeliger, Bielefeld University

Editorial Board Members:
Prof. Mita Banerjee, University Siegen, Germany
Prof. William Boelhower, University of Padua, Italy
Prof. Maryemma Graham, University of Kansas, USA
Dr. Luz Angélica Kirschner, Bielefeld University, Germany
Prof. John Carlos Rowe, University of Southern California, USA
Prof. David Ryan, University College Cork, Ireland
jun. Prof. Sebastian Thies, Bielefeld University, Germany

Main contact editor: Matthias Oppermann []

Submission Guidelines and Editorial Policies

Before submitting an article to FIAR please send a one-page abstract to fiar [at] interamerica [dot] de
The editors invite the submission of articles, event-scenes, interviews and reviews, appropriate to FIAR. Generally, submissions should not exceed 7500 words. All papers and proposals should be send as e-mail attachments (in MS Word or similar format) to fiar [at] interamerica [dot] de with the word “submission” in the subject line.

Submission of a paper to FIAR will be taken to imply that it presents original, unpublished work. Papers presented at conferences can, with appropriate changes, be considered for publication. All submissions will undergo a double-blind review process.
Further submission instructions can be found in the “Submission Guidelines” section on our website,

Mailing Address

Journal’s Contact Information:
E-mail: fiar [at] interamerica [dot] de
Phone: [+49] 521-106-3641 (European Standard Time)
Fax: [+49] 521-106-2996
Forum for Inter-American Research
American Studies Program
Postfach 100131
D-33501 Bielefeld

FIAR: Forum for Inter-American Research

The Forum for Inter-American Studies (FIAR) is the official electronic journal of the International Association of Inter-American Studies. FIAR was established by the American Studies Program at Bielefeld University in 2008.

We foster a dialogic and interdisciplinary approach to the study of the Americas. FIAR is a peer-reviewed online journal. Articles in this journal undergo a double-blind review process and are published in English and Spanish. We do not charge readers or institutions for full text access. In addition to written work we also publish selected audiovisual material of conference presentations, keynotes, and video features. The editorial board consists of a broad range of international scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds.


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Cine y Frontera - Cinema and the Border, Volume 3, Number 2

The Caribbean Diaspora Home Mode in the First Person Documentary

Mexicali: Frontera Norte - The Tango, the Street, the People (Photos)

Cities in general have always interested me: their social, cultural, and material contrasts. And in certain areas these contrasts are expressed with greater intensity and color, sometimes with indifference. Mexicali is a border town located in the Northwest of Mexico. It is the state capital of Baja California. In the North it borders on the city of Calexico in California, in the East it stretches out to the Colorado River and in the South it meets the desert zone. Founded in 1903, the city's name Mexicali derives from a combination of shortened versions of Mexico and California. People from different Mexican regions as well as people from countries have inhabited the city since its foundation. As border town Mexicali embodies contrasts that are even more obvious and profound than in other cities. In each of the photographs that I took during my strolls by night and day I hope to capture the human presence, the people in the city. Choosing either distance or proximity, I intended to represent people as eloquent and dignified, trying to avoid clichéd representations of sensational porno-misery often associated with border towns.

El rostro del Otro. El cine documental de tema inmigrante en la frontera México - Estados Unidos

El rostro humano es tratado en la obra del filósofo Emmanuel Levinas como una imagen problematizadora en la que las interpelaciones del Otro nos exige y demanda algo sobre lo cual no somos conscientes en primera instancia, pero que presentimos entender en nuestras conductas éticas y morales.[3] El rostro al que se refiere Levinas no es en términos lingüísticos la faz física de un cuerpo como tampoco su metáfora. "Si tuviéramos que poner su significado en palabras el rostro es aquello para lo que no hay palabras que puedan funcionar"- escribe Judith Butler parafraseando a Levinas-,[4] es un sonido vaciado de sentido y que, sin embargo, su detentador: el Otro, dirige a quien lo capta para demandar su comprensión. La actualidad del desafío planteado por Levinas es la inspiración de este artículo que analiza un documental sobre los inmigrantes mexicanos en Estados Unidos, cuya riqueza de información e imágenes propone otra manera de pensar las tensiones y encuentros en un espacio fronterizo de doble batiente, representado por la franja territorial que divide a México y Estados Unidos, y por los dispositivos políticos, culturales y religiosos que hacen cercanos a unos y lejanos a otros en el terreno de las identidades.

Trascendiendo límites: La frontera México-Estados Unidos en el cine

Las fronteras, como demarcaciones entre Estados Naciones, como límite simbólico entre culturas y personas diferentes, o como conjunto de experiencias a manera de tejido inter-subjetivo, han sido temas recurrentes en el cine mundial. Quizá la atracción está vinculada con la gran variedad de posibilidades que estas locaciones, situaciones, condiciones e identidades permiten especialmente para el desarrollo de la trama, de los personajes y de la estética de la película. En este artículo hablaré del caso concreto de la frontera entre México y Estados Unidos y de sus múltiples, variadas y contrastantes representaciones cinematográficas. Analizaré diferentes tipos de cine mexicano y norteamericano, en distintos momentos históricos, y con muy variadas perspectiva que van desde las más evidentes y graficas, hasta las más sofisticas, subjetivas y profundas. Me referiré al Mainstream norteamericano, al Cine Chicano, al Cine Fronterizo (mexicano comercial), al Nuevo Cine Mexicano, y por último al Video-Cine Fronterizos particularmente aquel producido por artistas visuales jóvenes en Tijuana.

White Pines, the CBC and Toronto as a border town

This article analyses how the topic of North American borders has garnered such great interest that television production companies started developing shows that deal with issues which for decades had only been raised in film. Borders are depicted as strategic regions for bilateral relations, be it Mexico-USA or Canada-USA. One very interesting case is the material produced by the Canadian company White Pines Pictures --headed by renowned documentarian Peter Raymont--, in two different genres: documentary and fiction series. The Border, belonging to the latter kind, is their attempt to present an intelligent, non-conventional alternative for Canadian prime-time viewers, where the aim is to portray border issues from a "Canadian" point of view, i.e., from a seemingly non-judgmental, antiracist perspective. Unfortunately, it seems that the ideology of the producers is not solid enough to avoid border genre conventions, which emerge in the development of plot topics (terrorism, drug and weapon trafficking, illegal immigration), in the depiction of space via specific landmarks such as border checkpoints or airports, and in stereotyped characters. This leads the narrative into moral solutions that turn out to be both problematic and ambiguous.

(In)visibilities, (De)humanizations and Globalizations: The Migrant Body in Border Film of the 2000s

"I want to humanize migrants" says Rebecca Cammisa, director of the Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning documentary Which Way Home (2009). "With my film, I want to humanize migrants in a dehumanizing system; put a human face on discourses of immigration." She wants to "vizibilize" invisible migrants, specifically children, through the vérité style documentary that follows unaccompanied child migrants. These children travel by freight train across Mexico in their quest to reach the U.S. for reasons such as longing to reunite with family members, planning to work to send money home to help support their families, and hoping to be adopted and to be "re-born." I worked with Rebecca on this film as a field producer and translator -- my first foray behind the scenes of a film rather than sitting in the audience or viewing a film from behind a scholar's critical lens. Working with a film and a director with such goals -- humanizing the dehumanized; making visible the invisible -- inspired me to question the representation of migrants on the big screen. Not wanting to analyze documentary (for fear of being too close to my own film), I wondered how similar questions might play out in fiction films. Through examples from primarily Mexican films (and co-productions) from the past ten years that take up the topic of immigration, this article analyzes the participation of recent border fiction films in the discourses of (de) humanization and (in)"visiblization" of celluloid migrants. [2]

Other Issues

Indigenous America - America Indígena, Volume 4, Number 2
, Volume 4, Number 1
Tracing the Americas , Volume 3, Number 1
Ethnic Identity Politics, Transnationalization, and Transculturation in American Urban Popular Music, Volume 2, Number 2
Remembering and Forgetting: Memory in Images and Texts, 2
Identity Politics in the Americas and Beyond, 1