-Last updated 08 March 2008-




links to READINGS are below



Borders, Barriers, & Barrios

NCHC Faculty Institute

15-22 March 2008

Arizona & Sonora








Braid, Bernice and Long, Ada (eds.) 2000.

Place as Text: Approaches to Active Learning. National Collegiate Honors Council, Monographs in Higher Education. (mailed to you from Tucson)

- a primer on the honors experiential learning model


McCarthy, Cormac. 1994.

The Crossing. Vintage Books, New York. (ordered from Amazon.com to be sent directly to you)

- a quick and riveting read wherein the border of the wild west plays a starring role


Zepeda, Ofelia. 1995.

Ocean Power: Poems from the Desert. University of Arizona Press, Tucson. (mailed to you from Tucson)

- a powerful introduction to the role of place in O’odham life



Assigned Reading Links (please – only to be accessed by institute participants):

[If you are strapped for time, read the *starred* ones first]






The People:




Corridos y Tragedias de la Frontera”, Mexican-American Border Music Vol. 6 & 7 (1928-1937)

Various Artists, e.g., Gregorio Cortez (Parts 1 & 2) - Pedro Rocha/Lupe Martinez (take a quick listen if you can – these sounds still resonate on the border today)



*Mabrey 2004, Why is America So Fat? CBS News Report

Diabetes in a Native American community



*Sheridan 2000, Human Ecology of the Sonoran Desert (pp. 105-118 in A Natural History of the Southwest 2000, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum)

A brief history of people in the Sonoran Desert





The Place:




Byrne 2003, When Bad Art is Good (Utne 2003)

Taco-stand implications



Hornaday - Campfires on Desert and Lava, excerpts

Coming Soon

Interesting book about exploration/hunting trip to Pinacate from Tucson in 1907.



Ives 1989, Maps  (pp. 49,55 in Land of Lava Ash, and Sand)

Excellent geographical orientation



*Nabhan 1985, Organpipe Cactus: Bringing in the Rainfeast  (pp. 77-90) in Gathering the Desert

The important role of Organpipe cactus in human settlement of the Sonoran Desert



Scarborough 2000, The Geologic Origin of the Sonoran Desert (pp. 71-85 in A Natural History of the Southwest)


The long, rocky view of the Sonoran Desert



Tumamoc Hill

Desert research laboratory founded in Tucson in early 1900s





Things Change:




*Bowden 2002, Teachings of Don Fernando: a life and death in the narcotics trade (Harper’s 2002)

A glimpse into the border drug world



Leopold 1949, The Green Lagoons (pp. 150-158 in A Sand County Almanac)

Early canoe trip to the Colorado River delta – an area now mostly gone



Minard 2006, The Changing of the Guard National Parks magazine article:

How do our protected lands fare with increasing border-related threats?



Turner, Ray, Repeat Photography of the Sonoran Desert

Coming Soon







Optional/Expanded Readings and Materials:



Abbey, Edward - Polemic from Desert Solitaire

Abbey - working for NPS and offering several suggested changes and improvements

Bernays, Liz - see #6 at the bottom of link: http://www.eclectica.org/v10n4/bernays.html

Bernays, Liz - Art meets Science on the U of A campus: http://www.elizabethbernays.com/

Invasive Species in the Sonoran Desert


Nabhan 1985, Introduction (pp. 2-8 in Gathering the Desert)

Desert plant foods in the lives of desert inhabitants

Nabhan 1985 Sandfood (pp. 51-59 in Gathering the Desert)

Unusual foods in a desert environment

From National Geographic website

Violence in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Marc Reisner, Cadillac Desert, excerpt

Coming Soon

Steinbeck, Log of the Sea of Cortez, excerpt

Coming Soon

Timeline of US-Mexico Border

1500s – 1998 (PBS link)

Tumamoc Hill

Ongoing Research

Turk-Boyer 2007, CEDO Story (pp. 548-559 in

Dry Borders: Great Natural Reserves of the Sonoran Desert)

Conservation in the Puerto Peñasco community

Urrea, Devil’s Highway, excerpt

Coming Soon

Zepeda, Ofelia – http://uanews.org/node/18050

- short blurb about her from UANews



Relevant Bibliography:


Childs, Craig.

Secret Knowledge of Water, 2001

Nabhan, Gary Paul http://www.garynabhan.com/index.html



Ecologist, Ethnobotanist, Conservationist. Works include: The Desert Smells Like Rain, 1982; Singing the Turtles to Sea, 2003; Efrain of the Sonoran Desert:  A Lizard's Life Among the Seri Indians (with Amalia Astorga and Janet Miller), 2001; Tequila!: A Natural and Cultural History (with Ana-Guadalupe Valenzuela-Zapata), 2004; Why Some Like It Hot: Food, Genes and Cultural Diversity, 2004; La Vida Norteña (with David Burckhalter and Thomas Sheridan), 1999; Gathering the Desert, 1985

Silko, Leslie Marmon

After a Summer Rain in the Upper Sonoran

Gomez Peña, Guillermo


Performance Artist – US-Mexico border theme

Gill, Jerry

Borderland Theology

Momaday, N Scott - http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/mom0bio-1


Famous local Native-American author. Works include: House Made of Dawn; Man Made of words





Original Brochure about the Borders Institute



Our Institute Location

(Tucson, Tohono O’odham Nation, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Pinacate Biosphere Reserve, Puerto Penasco)

Map from Nabhan’s Gathering the Desert)





Some Border Photos to Think About: