Academic Courses & Programs

Northeastern Border Studies

While working as a Visiting Professor at SUNY-College At Potsdam during the 2006-2007 academic year I developed a series of courses, which focused on the French-Canadian, Italian, Amish, South Asian, Chinese, Mexican, Central American and Native-American communities settled along the New York state, Ontario, Québec and Vermont borders. One of these courses, The Imaginary Indian, was literally and figuratively set in the Akwesasne Indian Reserve/Reservation, a small, twenty-square mile community where people move through and rest in two sets of national and First Nations borders on a daily basis and carry up to four kinds of citizenship, American, Canadian, American-Indian and Canadian-Indian. Another course, Platter Licked Clean, zeroed in on the lives and stories of undocumented migrant workers, mostly from Guatemala. Students taking this series of courses learned to put into practice all kinds of ethnographic and documentary methods, however, an emphasis was placed on audio ethnography and audio documentary production because of the long history of public radio making and listening in those parts of the United States and Canada.  A listing of the courses included in this program are below.