Bridging Cultures: Assessing the Cultural Heritage of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Borderland

An Interdisciplinary Conference Reflecting on Border Culture

Dates: November 8-9, 2012
Location: UTSA Downtown Campus (501 W. Cesar E. Chavez), Durango Building, Southwest Room (DB 1.124)

Bridging Cultures: Program

Keynote Address
6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 8
A River Runs Through It: Deep Heritage, Disruptions, and the Choices of Hope
Dr. David Carrasco, Harvard Divinity School

Cultural sustainability concerns the conservation and perpetuation of cultures. People have heritage — identities and values that bind them to places with local, national or ethnic relevance. As places are transformed, knowledge and appreciation of the existing heritage values of the place are beneficial, perhaps even essential, in knowing what to change and what to preserve. “BRIDGING CULTURES: Assessing the Cultural Heritage of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Borderland” will advance scholarship on cultural sustainability by regarding heritage identification and conservation as equal in importance to environmental and energy conservation.

About the Conference
“BRIDGING CULTURES: Assessing the Cultural Heritage of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Borderland,” sponsored jointly by UTSA’s Mexico Center and Center for Cultural Sustainability, aims to bring together prominent scholars from Mexico and the United States in order to provide an in‐depth exploration of the heritage values unique to the area nestled between San Antonio, Texas, U.S., and Monterrey, Nuevo Leόn, Mexico, including territory on both sides of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo from Laredo/Nuevo Laredo to Brownsville/Matamoros. Shaped by the commonality of historic experiences, the cultural identity of the region merits attention because it transcends borders. The objective of this conference is to produce a picture of cultural identity that can be appreciated and respected as an asset, and one deserving to be sustained.

“BRIDGING CULTURES: Assessing the Cultural Heritage of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Borderland” will focus on distinct features specific to the region including: bridges, fences, water, plazas, culture, space and society. The conference will consider the aspects of this unique borderland culture through a transnational approach and an interdisciplinary framework. Anthropology, architecture, art, folklore, economics, geography, heritage conservation, history, literature, music, public policy, regional planning, sociology, and sustainable design, will inform conference participants as they explore how transnational relations reinforce cultural identity and contribute to its sustainability. They will be guided by the orienting question: “What is the contemporary value of the cultural heritage of the borderlands between Southwestern Texas and Northeastern Mexico and why is it important today?”

For more information, contact Claudia Guerra, Program Coordinator, Center for Cultural Sustainability at or (210) 458-3178.

Bridging Cultures: Flyer