Charles Thompson

Professor of the Practice in the Department of Cultural Anthropology

External address: 
1317 W Pettigrew St, Durham, NC 27705
Internal office address: 
Box 90802, Durham, NC 27708-0802
(919) 660-3657


My research is centered on critical food studies at the nexus where food justice and immigration meet, with particular linkages to Latin America and the U.S. South.  I am a filmmaker, photographer, oral historian, and writer.   My projects (both completed and current) address such topics as immigration, farmworkers, the US/Mexico border, the US South and its agricultural history, farm foreclosures, and food access.  For more about my work, please see my website:  

My latest book, Border Odyssey: Travels Along the US/Mexico Divide (Texas, 2015) is an ethnography and memoir about my travel along the 2,000-mile line that marks the division between the two countries.  My photographs and recent film work and an interactive map that accompany the book are here:

Degrees & Credentials

  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1998

  • M.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1994

  • M.S., North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University 1984

  • B.A., Emory & Henry College 1979

Curriculum and Education Director awarded by Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2011 to 2012

"Brother Town/Pueblos Hermanos", A Documentary awarded by Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2008 to 2009

Pueblos Hermanos/Brother Towns awarded by Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2007 to 2008

Embarq and Student of the World Partnership awarded by Mary Duke Biddle Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2006 to 2007

Thompson, C. Spirits of Just Men. University of Illinois Press, April 19, 2011.

Thompson, C, and Wiggins, MF. The Human Cost of Food. University of Texas Press, January 27, 2009.

Thompson, C. The Old German Baptist Brethren. University of Illinois Press, May 4, 2006.

Thompson, C, and Harvey, G. Indigenous Diasporas and Dislocations: Unsettling Western Fixations. Aldersgate: Ashgate press, 2005.

Thompson, C. Maya Identities and the Violence of Place. Ashgate Pub Limited, January 1, 2001.

Thompson, C. "Guestworkers: Farmworkers, filmmakers, and their obligations in the field." Project Muse 4. DUMMY PUBID, 2013. 181-197.

Thompson, C. "Natives of Bleeding Land: The Case of the Jacalteco Maya." Indigenous Diasporas. Aldersgate: Ashgate, 2005.

Thompson, C. "Review of Faces from the Flood: Hurricane Floyd Remembered by Richard Moore an Jay Barnes." The Oral History Review 32.2 (Summer/Fall) (2005): 119-122. (Review)

Thompson, C. "Tom and Betsy’s Story: Tobacco People, Memory, and Vernacular History." North Carolina Literary Review (August 2004).

Thompson, C. "They Go Quietly." The Journal of the Western Virginia Historical Society 16.1 (2004).

Thompson, C. "Who is my Neighbor? Parables of Survival from the Floyd Flood of 1999." North Carolina Literary Review 11 (2002): 87-98.

Thompson, C. "The Great Deluge as told to Charles D. Thompson, Jr." Southern Cultures 7.3 (2001).