'Bordertown' book coverBenjamin Heber Johnson, associate professor of history in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, and Dallas physician/photographer Jeffrey Gusky will sign and discuss their new book, Bordertown: The Odyssey of an American Place, beginning at 6 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture.

The book, published by Yale University Press, uses the remote town of Roma, Texas, as an example of the larger history of the U.S.-Mexico border and its changing role in the United States. Johnson, who specializes in borderlands research, explores how border residents came to identify themselves as Americans in the United States while continuing to feel powerful kinship with their Mexican heritage. “The United States is not self-contained; to understand our history requires an understanding of our connection with other parts of the world, in this case Mexico,” says Johnson, who also serves as associate director of SMU’s Clements Center for Southwest Studies.

Johnson and Gusky will present their findings and take questions from 7-8:30 p.m. on the day of the signing. Admission is $25 for members, $35 for nonmembers and $10 for teachers. The Institute is located at 2719 Routh Street in Dallas.

Visit the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Cultures online
Read more about Johnson’s work from the 2008 SMU Research magazine