Institut des Amériques
The Institut des Amériques-UT Austin Center promotes the development of scholarly activities, facilitates joint research and exchange between European and American specialists and serves as a gateway to France and Europe.
At a Glance
Research between the Americas and France
The Institut des Amériques (IdA)
Interdisciplinary research and scholarly activities
What is the Institut des Amériques?
The Institut des Amériques (IdA) is a French institution that promotes research of the Americas. The IdA values comparative and interdisciplinary approaches to the humanities and social sciences.
The Institute, headquartered in Paris, France, maintains a robust network of interdisciplinary researchers and universities throughout France and the Americas.
IdA at UT Austin
To foster international cooperation, the IdA has established 12 hubs in institutions of higher education or research in the Americas. In 2019-2020 the University of Texas at Austin became the newest center to join this prestigious group.
The IdA - UT Center promotes the development of scholarly activities with the aim to:
- Disseminate research between the Americas and France, with an emphasis on transdisciplinary and trans-American projects.
- Encourage exchange between European and American specialists, enriching academic knowledge on the Americas.
- Serve as a gateway to France and Europe, participating in the construction of a Euro-American hub of higher education and research.
The coordinator for the IdA – UT Center is a visiting doctoral student from France and facilitates the IdA - UT partnership through academic events and programming. Meet the current coordinator:
Paul Serp is a Ph.D. student at Aix-Marseille Université, focusing on US foreign policy after the end of the Cold War. His dissertation is tentatively titled "The Role of Military Force in Post-Cold War American Foreign Policy, 1989-2017." Paul holds a visiting researcher position in the Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law through Spring 2025.
The IdA- UT Center hosts a number of events throughout the year to promote scholarly exchange with a focus on the Americas. Check back regularly for listings of new events.
(Re)Thinking borders in Central America, the Caribbean, and the Gulf Coast of the Southern United States: Separation, Circulation, and Identification at an American Crossroads
In fall of 2021 the Texas, Mexico, and Caribbean centers of the Institut des Amériques (IdA), and their host institutions, Texas Global, the Centro Francés de Estudios Mexicanos y Centroamericanos (CEMCA), and the Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE), hosted an interactive three-part virtual series that explored questions of construction and deconstruction of material and symbolical borders, in the pivotal space that links the United States, Central America, and the Caribbean.
About the Series
When experienced by migrants, by land or by sea, borders never fail to conjure up dramatic images. They interrupt the circulation of people with both material and immaterial barriers. The US/Mexico border is one such visual sign of fragmentation, creating a North and South in one similar region, materializing a gap between the developed and the underdeveloped or developing – enacting asymmetrical power relations. Yet ideas and phenomena such as culture are a constant reminder that these borders are not strict lines of separation. Gloria Anzaldúa thus uses the word “Nepantla” – the “Nahuatl word for the space between two bodies of water, the space between two worlds,” – to define the in-between space that her poetry and identity occupy. Through a truly plural voice – bilingual and bicultural – the Chicana poet breaks through the liminal space and recreates community.
The seminar strives to challenge the audience to rethink borders and their multi-faceted realities in a space that includes Central America, the Caribbean, and the Gulf Coast of the United States. This unusual grouping will make for a unique exploration of the phenomena of border fragmentation and hybridity. Calling upon a broad theoretical understanding of borders, the seminar also invites us to think of this American crossroads as a space that is at once perceived, conceived, and lived, through a variety of cuts and junctions.