Are borders a political language? An ideology? A way of thinking? A way of being in this world? What are the implications of borders on globalization, identity, democracy, migration, global health, press freedom, climate change, Black Lives Matter?
These were just a few of the critical topics discussed and debated for five days in July 2020 by 32 competitively selected community college faculty who participated in “Borders: Real and Imaginary,” the annual Community College Master Teacher Institute (CCMTI) held in summer at the University of Washington. Led by the six federally-funded National Resource Centers housed at the Jackson School, and co-sponsored with other partners in education, each year CCMTI explores a global topic from a variety of perspectives and disciplines.
This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, participants learned through asynchronous and synchronous online classroom settings. The CCMTI adapted by utilizing the flipped classroom approach, allowing participants to view lectures specially created for CCMTI, read materials provided by presenters, write collaborative reflection pieces, and engage in a day of conversation and dialogue over Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
Topics and presenters included:
Untold Stories of Southeast Asian Refugees: Including the Voices of Marginalized and Invisible Populations into the Curriculum, Andrew Cho, Professor, Tacoma Community College, Department of Sociology
The Line It Is Drawn, but by Whom? David Fenner, Lecturer, UW Jackson School of International Studies
Refining and Redefining the Dar-ul-Islam in Mughal India, Purnima Dhavan, Associate Professor, UW Department of History
COVID-19, Borders, and the Limits of European Solidarity, Phillip Shekleton, Affiliate Instructor, UW Foster School of Business
Inuit Nunangat: A New Policy Space, Nadine Fabbi, Managing Director, UW Canadian Studies Center
Identity as a Category of Practice: The Case of Hong Kong, Kai Ping (Brian) Leung, UW Doctoral student in Political Science and Hong Kong democracy activist
Borders: Real and Imaginary – The Case of Taiwan, Wei-Ting Yen, Assistant Professor, Franklin and Marshall College, Department of Government
Educators who were selected and joined this year’s CCMTI represented the following institutions: Bellevue College; Cascadia College; College of Southern Idaho; Everett Community College; Green River College; Highline College; Oakland Community College (Michigan); Portland Community College; Seattle Central College; Skagit Valley College; South Seattle College; St. Louis Community College (Missouri); Tacoma Community College; and Whatcom Community College.
Said one participant in a survey following the conference: “The speakers brought great insight on how to think about the borders across time and space, at a time when the United States is rethinking its relationship with its own borders.” Others appreciated the CCMTI for making different disciplines and subject area experts available, and how “having experts on current affairs for Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Middle East deepened my understanding of those content areas.”
“The topic of borders is vast and nuanced and we could not hope to cover every border issue or region,” said Tamara Leonard, who conceived of the CCMTI which launched in 2003 and is the managing director of the Center for Global Studies, one of the National Resource Centers at the Jackson School. “However, I do see this CCMTI as the beginning of a conversation and a year ahead of activities, film screenings, public talks, and pop-up events focused on this theme.”
Leonard noted in particular that the public is welcome to join the Jackson School, UW Simpson Center and the UW for “Art at the Borders of the Political: Mobilizing Senses Across the Americas” and UW Global Month in November 2020.
CCMTI is sponsored by the National Resource Centers at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies (Canadian Studies Center, Center for Global Studies, East Asia Center, Middle East Center, South Asia Center and Southeast Asia Center); Northwest International Education Association; Global Business Center at the UW Michael G. Foster School of Business. It is funded through Title VI grant funding from the United States Department of Education.