Project Title: Border Security and the Humanities: Enhancing the Curriculum in Two Master of Arts Programs
Institution: The University of Texas at El Paso
Project Director: Sandra Garabano, Ph.D.
Project Co-Directors: Zulma Y. Méndez, Ph.D. (Please see box below for short bio) and Meredith Abarca, Ph.D.
Grant Program: National Endowment for the Humanities: Humanities Initiatives for Faculty at Hispanic-Serving Colleges and Universities
The Center for Inter-American and Border Studies (CIBS) has organized a yearlong Faculty Fellows Program entitled Border Security and the Humanities with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The fellows program involve 9 Faculty Fellows selected from UTEP’s history, literature, cultural anthropology, communications and languages and linguistics departments. Through the Fellows Program, participating faculty will: 1) increase the presence and impact of humanities scholarship on UTEP’s Master’s program in Intelligence and National Security Studies (INSS) and UTEP’s Master’s Program in Latin American and Border Studies (LABS), two graduate programs that have traditionally relied on a solely social science perspective; 2) develop innovative coursework with content and syllabi that bridge the gap between the national or mainstream narratives of border security and border crossing as represented by a wide range of narrative including novel, theater, poetry, folktales and personal testimonies; 3) enhance graduate curricula by developing a cohesive set of courses that humanize and broaden the study of border issues in both programs. The fellows program is led by nationally and internationally renowned scholars such Anthony Appiah, Ben Saenz, Ruth Behar and Kathryn Abrams.
Dr. Zulma Y. Méndez is Co-Director of the NEH Fellows Program at UTEP’s Center for Inter-American and Border Studies. Her research and publications focus on educational policy and curriculum in México, especially in secondary schools in Ciudad Juárez. Resulting from her experiences during field work in that area, Professor Méndez’s work re-focused to explore questions of violence, activism, and resistance. Recently, she co-authored with Dr. Kathleen Staudt “Courage, activism, and women. Challenges to militarization,” a book that will be published by The University of Texas Press in the fall of 2014. At present, Professor Méndez teaches at El Colegio de Chihuahua (in Ciudad Juárez) graduate courses on qualitative methods and educational policy.