Bound Together Across an Arbitrary Dividing Line

Regionalia Explores an Alternative Form of Citizenship on the U.S.-Mexico Border

The word region comes from the Latin regere, meaning “to rule.” It is etymologically related to the Latin regio or “district.” In turn, “district” comes from the Latin distringere meaning to “draw apart.”

In this sense, to speak of region is to speak of drawing “apart-ness”—of carving out distinct segments of territory, so as to establish, facilitate, and sustain rulership or dominion through(out) them.

The U.S.-Mexico border is one such dividing line. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the U.S.-Mexico war (1846-1848) and annexed over half of the territory held by …