Charles Thompson
  • Charles Thompson

  • Professor of the Practice
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • 1317 W Pettigrew St, Durham, NC 27705
  • Campus Box 90802
  • Phone: (919) 660-3657
  • Fax: (919) 681-7600
  • Homepage
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Bio

    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, spring 2015) is an ethnography, history, and memoir associated with my travels 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: I’m also deeply interested in the ethics of fieldwork, and engage in these questions both through Cultural Anthropology and my work with the Center for Documentary Studies.
  • Recent Publications

      • C Thompson.
      • (2013).
      • Guestworkers: Farmworkers, filmmakers, and their obligations in the field.
      • scopus
      • Project Muse 4
      • ,
      • 9780292793675
      • ,
      • 181-197.
      • DUMMY PUBID.
      Publication Description

      As fieldworkers-in this case, those who go to communities asking for the favors of interviews, images, and film footage-we often find ourselves caught in a complex web of promises, obligations, and gifts. Receiving the gifts of interviews often requires something of us in return, placing us in fieldwork predicaments that we must continue to negotiate long after the actual fieldwork ends. Fieldwork, of course, is a relationship we enter because we want to. Yet once we begin the work itself, people we meet in the field and who give us their energy, time, and stories begin to have their own designs on the outcome of the work we produce and how it will be used. As this happens. Copyright

      • C Thompson.
      • (2011).
      • Spirits of Just Men.
      • University of Illinois Press.
      Publication Description

      Spirits of Just Men tells the story of moonshine in 1930s America, as seen through the remarkable location of Franklin County, Virginia, a place that many still refer to as the "moonshine capital of the world.

      • C Thompson and MF Wiggins.
      • (2009).
      • The Human Cost of Food.
      • University of Texas Press.
      Publication Description

      The contributors to this book are all farmworker advocates—student and community activists and farmworkers themselves.

      • C Thompson.
      • (2006).
      • The Old German Baptist Brethren.
      • University of Illinois Press.
      Publication Description

      Today, with their land and livelihoods threatened by the encroachment of neighboring communities, the construction of a new highway, and competition from corporate megafarms, the German Baptists find themselves forced to adjust ...

      • C Thompson.
      • (2005).
      • Harder than hardscrabble: Oral recollections of the farming life from the edge of the Texas Hill Country.
      • ,
      • 46
      • (2)
      • ,
      • 258-259.
      • [web]
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  • Education

      • 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
  • redbrick