Deborah Barndt archive at the York University Library
Over 23 years of research and teaching at York, I amassed a lot of both theoretical and practical material on subjects that reflect my work as an academic, activist and artist. With the help of Seema Shenoy, we organized and indexed this material which is now accessible to the public through the York University Library.
These are the main categories:
Streams of Popular Education Praxis: I collected both social movement material (manuals, posters, newsletters, etc.) and critical essays reflecting on the following practices: Indigenous Education, Environmental Education, Feminist Pedagogy, Anti-Racism Education, Gender and Development, Global Education, Popular Health Promotion, Labour Education, Popular Economics, Sexual and Gender Diversity, ESL/Literacy.
There are many resources (about practice and theory) in the core fields of Popular Education and Participatory Research, and more specific archives of the works of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire and of the historical practice of the Highlander Research and Education Centre in Tennessee, where I worked in the 1980s.
In the early 2000s, I coordinated a Curriculum Diversity Project at York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies, that culiminated in a kit with videos, entitled “Voices of Diversity and Equity: Transforming University Curriculum”. Included is a DVD of video clips and the archives houses the original videos from six workshops held in 2003-2004 (on Disability, Sexual and Gender Diversity, Aboriginal Ways of Knowing, Class and Poverty, Race and Ethnicity, and Women), as well as multiple articles on these equity areas.
Over two decades at York, I coordinated two major collaborative research projects and have donated all of the original research material to the library:
The Tomasita Project (1994-2007) traced the journey of the corporate tomato from a Mexican field to a Canadian fast food restaurant, using the tomato as a code to examine globalization from above and below (focusing on women workers in the front line), and its impact on the dynamic relationship between production and consumption, biodiversity and cultural diversity, work and technology, and health and environment. With contributions from feminist academics and grass-roots activists in the three NAFTA countries, we produced two books: an anthology Women Working the NAFTA Food Chain and Tangled Routes: Women, Work and Globalization on the Tomato Trail (also published by UAM in Spanish as Rutas Enmarañadas: Mujeres, Trabajo, y Globalización en la senda del tomate). The archive includes the cassette tapes and transcriptions of interviews with workers and managers at Empaque Santa Anita in Mexico and Del Monte in Mexico, and at Loblaws supermarkets and McDonald’s fast food restaurants in Toronto. There are multiple academic resources related to the subject of food and globalization, and videos of food inspectors at the U.S-Mexican border as well as the Toronto food terminal.
Between 2003-2007, I coordinated the VIVA! Project, an exchange of eight community arts projects in five countries (Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, the U.S. and Canada). A participatory action research project with four NGO and four university partners, the exchange culminated in a book, ViVA! Community Arts and Popular Education in the Americas (also published in Spanish as VIVA! El Arte Comunitario y la Educación Popular en las Américas). It includes chapters by eight VIVA partners and a DVD with 9 videos, one for each project as well as an overview of the exchange. This archive includes materials produced by the eight collaborating organizations, illustrated bilingual reports of all our transnational meetings, original video material, funding proposals, evaluations and drafts of the final book.
How to Access the Archive?
This material is accessible through York University’s Archives and Special Collections (CTASC). You can look through the index on the site and place a request for material you would like to access, or use this easy-to-navigate index (excel sheet): browse through the index by Category or Title, or simply use the search function if you know what you are looking for. Copy and paste and the title into the Quick Search bar on the CTASC website to locate it in the library’s archives and place a request for access.