Immigration Films: Crossing Borders and Boundaries

Immigration Films: Crossing Borders and Boundaries

Immigration Films Thesis CoverFrom the beginning of my graduate studies, I knew I wanted to write my thesis on the way immigration is depicted in film. Growing up on the border of the United States and Mexico, in San Diego, immigration stories have always been a fundamental part of my existence and world views. Through numerous classes in American Studies, Performance Studies and Film Studies, I narrowed my focus to the coyote in film.

American immigration films have predominantly focused on the stories of law enforcement officials and undocumented immigrants. By shifting the focus to the coyote, a person who smuggles undocumented immigrants from Mexico into the United States, these same films can be viewed through a new perspective.




This thesis would not have been possible without the assistance of many people. I must first thank my thesis chair, Dr. Alison McKee, whose patience and humor made the writing process less intimidating than I ever thought possible. I would also like to show my appreciation to Dr. Matthew Spangler whose guidance brought this work from a seminar paper to a graduate thesis. I owe my deepest gratitude to Dr. David Kahn for accepting me into the graduate program and being a voice of reason and a wonderful graduate advisor during my time in the Theatre Arts department. I must also thank the numerous classmates, professors, friends, and family members, who spent the last two years listening to me discuss my thesis from conception to the final product and who, all, in one way, had a hand in the ultimate result.

Lastly, and most imperatively, I must thank my parents, Ron and Kelly Engelman, whose support, patience, generosity, and love have allowed me to get to this point in my life and academic career.

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Crossing Borders and Boundaries

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