Charlie Thompson holds a Ph.D. in religion and culture from UNC-Chapel Hill, with concentrations in cultural studies and Latin American studies. He also holds an M.S. degree in Agricultural Education from NC A&T State University. His particular interests include farmworkers, immigration, agriculture, and Appalachian Studies. His methodology includes oral history, ethnographic writing, documentary filmmaking, and collaborative community activism. A former farmer, Thompson remains concerned about issues affecting laborers within our food system.
He has written about farmworkers, and he is an advisory board member of Student Action with Farmworkers, the Duke Campus Farm, and other Duke food and agriculture initiatives. Thompson is author or editor of six books. His latest is Border Odyssey: Travels along the US/Mexico Divide, an exploration of immigration and borders in our society today. He is also an editor, along with Melinda Wiggins, of The Human Cost of Food: Farmworker Lives, Labor, and Advocacy. Thompson is the producer/director of four documentary films, including Faces of Time (2015), Brother Towns/ Pueblos Hermanos (2010), We Shall Not Be Moved (2008), and The Guestworker (2007). Three of these films are directly related to immigration and border concerns. Thompson’s latest project, Border Odyssey, is a website/photography exhibit/book/film combination.