ASU News

U.S.-Mexico borderlands professor to join ASU faculty

May 8, 2014

Arizona State University's School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies has hired Julian Lim to be a professor of history of U.S.-Mexico borderlands.

Lim comes from the Washington University in St. Louis, where she is a postdoctoral fellow in history and a Dean’s Research Fellow in the School of Law. Her research interests involve law and history, focusing on questions of immigration, race and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. She is working on a book, “Porous Borders, Forged Boundaries: Multiracial Migrations in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands.” This work traces the movement of Mexican, Chinese and African-American men and women in the border region during the 19th and early 20th centuries.  Julian Lim joins the faculty at ASU Download Full Image

It is a study in diversity mirrored in Lim’s own background. Lim grew up in California, “where racial and ethnic diversity was a part of my everyday life,” she says. “Growing up, my extended family was multiracial and diverse, with various family members of Korean, Chinese, Mexican, Jewish and African American heritage.”

And how did an Asian scholar become interested in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands? “Initially, I was trying to better understand Chinese immigration to Mexico and the U.S.-Mexico border. But as I began to research it, what I uncovered was a much richer and a more multiracial history about immigration in the borderlands – one in which Chinese, Mexican, and African American men and women tried to define the space between the United States and Mexico with their own understandings of freedom.”

Lim was attracted to ASU’s culture of interdisciplinarity, as it reflects the nature of her own scholarship in history and law. She also expresses a deep appreciation for the school’s active commitment to public history, and to bringing together scholarly research with public engagement.  “I’m looking forward to interacting with the broader Phoenix community about the pressing political and social issues surrounding the border, immigration, and race today,” says Lim.

Lim joins the faculty in the fall of 2015.

The School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies is an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University.

Written by Beatriz Kravetz

Margaret Coulombe

Director, Executive Communications, Office of the University Provost