The National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) awarded a $132,000 grant to a faculty member from The University of Texas at El Paso to conduct a two-week course about aspects of the border for 25 secondary education teachers from around the country.
Ignacio Martinez, Ph.D., assistant professor of history and the project’s principal investigator, co-directs the NEH Institute “Tales from the Chihuahuan Desert: Narratives about Identity and Binationalism” that concludes on July 28, 2019.
The course focuses on the history, literature, immigration and identity of this multicultural region. The program provides teachers with material that publishers often leave out of textbooks, but is significant to American history and literature.
At the institute, UTEP experts and visiting scholars will lead inquiry-based classroom activities and take participants on regional field trips to see archives, historical sites and cultural venues.
The goal is to provide a truthful perspective of the U.S.-Mexico border and its residents. Organizers hope the teachers will share that information with their students as skilled storytellers.
The institute’s other co-director is former UTEP faculty member R. Joseph Rodriguez, Ph.D., assistant professor of literacy, multilingual and multicultural education at the California State University, Fresno’s Kremen School of Education and Human Development.
This is the second NEH border history institute at UTEP. The previous one was in 2017.