This article uses border crossings by the author's family to illustrate the problems of historical narratives that do not consider who and what exists beyond national borders,as well as across conceptual boundaries of race, class, ethnicity, religion, gender,and sexuality. The national U.S. narrative rarely crosses the borders of what became three North American nations, or those between a pre-colonial North American past and a post-colonial national history, or profound social divisions. Histories that cross national and social boundaries clarify what Sarah Carter terms their "categories and terrains of exclusion." Fears triggered by the attacks of September 11, 2001, revealed changing constructions of the U.S.-Canadian border. Without stories that cross national and social divides, it is hard to recognize humanity across those borders or to imagine a connected future. Such histories must recognize analytic categories and narratives divided and erased by social and national borders, and the unequal power inscribed in androcentric, ethnocentric, and nationalist narratives.

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