The Association for Borderlands Studies is the premiere scholarly association focusing exclusively on border issues.
The ABS was formed with an emphasis on the United States-Mexico borderlands, but today the association is truly global in its scope and its membership. As an association devoted to the greater understanding of borders, we embrace perspectives from all border researchers worldwide, and we celebrate multidisciplinary approaches engaging geographers, political scientists, sociologists, economists, anthropologists and other social scientists. Historians provide a temporal lens for our research. Language, literature, art, film and other humanities interests engage a growing number of our members. Many of our members pursue research that has direct public policy implications and impacts. This includes specialists in environmental sciences, technology, migration, trade, transportation, security and other fields focused on border policy. Also, we welcome members who are outside academia, the government officials, journalists, writers, and others who create border policy and comment on it. For all of us, borders have become a vocation, a prevailing interest and a major focus of inquiry. We invite new border scholars as well as those whose research interests intersect with borderlands scholarship to join the association. Benefits of association membership include receipt of the Journal of Borderlands Studies as well as our online newsletter, La Frontera. Members receive information about international borderlands conferences sponsored by colleges and universities as well as other organizations. Additionally, we encourage all members to attend the annual ABS conference, held in April each spring in conjunction with the Western Social Science Association. During this year, the ABS will continue the several initiatives to grow the association and border studies worldwide, as well as to integrate and represent effectively all of our constituents, from our heritage membership along the U.S.-Mexico border to the newest members from Asia and Europe, and from our disciplinary base in the social sciences to a growing membership from other fields. An important event in this strive has been the first ABS World Conference held in June 2014 in Joensuu, Finland and St. Petersburg, Russia. This five day event proofed to have filled a need for a global forum on border studies. The conference attracted about 423 participants from 53 countries covering all continents of the globe. A call for the next World Meeting in 2018 will be issued in the fall of 2014. The first regional ABS meeting (outside Europe) took place in Guwahati, India in March 2015. This meeting established a tradition of having regular meetings outside North-America and Europe. During the first ABS-world meeting the seeds have already been planted to organize meetings in Africa and Latin-America. Also the ABS Task Force on Growth, Governance, Structure and Operations continue its efforts under the guidance of Victor Konrad. The task force tries to define where we need to build, adjust and enhance the ABS. These are both challenging and exciting times for the ABS. I am pleased to welcome you to the Association for Borderlands Studies, and I look forward to seeing you next April at the ABS 2014 meeting in Reno or one of the other activities of the ABS around the globe.
Best regards, Akihiro Iwashita, President