University of Arizona

Visions of the Borderlands

Exploring Popular Historical Imagery

Between 1900 and the late 1950s, southwestern border towns came of age both as centers of commerce and tourist destinations. Dusty gas stations and bullet hole–riddled bars. Curiosity shops and rodeo arenas. Cowgirls riding horseback amongst the bustle of downtown and Ted DeGrazia hand-painting designer skirts beneath the unforgiving desert sun. From postcards sent to families back home to the regional shorts broadcast on early television sets, these images of the Southwest sparked the imagination and documented what many saw as an exotic frontier.

Authors Jennifer L. Jenkins and Daniel D. Arreola and archivist Verónica Reyes-Escudero draw on their research to explore the ways popular historical imagery—photographic postcards and regional films—tell a compelling, visually enriched story of place and time. From Native and Mexican lifeways, Anglo ranching and leisure, Mexican missions and tourism, and borderlands prosperity and progressivism, these images document the boom-and-bust arc of the early 20th century Southwest.

Note: Due to the UA vs. Washington State basketball game on January 26, parking will be limited for this panel. We can reserve a number of parking spaces at Cherry Garage; please RSVP and let us know if you will require parking. Additional parking will be available in the Zone 1 lots south of Sixth Street and West of Mountain Avenue. With a 7:30 pm tip-off, traffic will become increasingly heavy the later your arrive. See all parking lots.

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