"Immigrant Harrisonburg", digital archive and oral history project

Contact Information

Carlos Aleman // Associate Professor of Communication Studies // alemancg@jmu.edu


"Immigrant Harrisonburg" is a collaborative effort to engage JMU students from across the CAL disciplines in innovative research and creative projects that explore the lived experience of immigration in our local area. Our common goals are to record, produce and compile a variety of narrative projects that document and celebrate the lives of immigrants in the Harrisonburg and Shenandoah Valley region, and to inquire the social, cultural, and historical contexts of their storied experiences. An initial effort compiled oral histories researched and recorded by students in the Department of History. These are showcased here:


Projects during the 2018-19 AY will continue to expand that effort so as to include other forms of interview, narrative, mapping, and documentary products from across departments and disciplines in CAL.

On September 6, 2018 at 6:00pm, the students and faculty from different courses gathered together at JMU's Student Success Center to meet and learn of the scope of our work. Several members of the local community who have already been interviewed for the Immigrant Harrisonburg project will also attend. Our goal is help our students see themselves as members of an academic community that is in service to our local community and larger society.

Web Presence



Involves Faculty, Involves Staff, Involves Students, Involves Participants External to JMU


JMU Campus Scope, Harrisonburg/Local/VA


The participating faculty and their courses for AY 2018-19 are listed below. HIST 313 History of Latinos in the United States (Daniel Morales, History) JUST 301-3 Global Migration (Case Watkins, Justice Studies) JUST 400 Senior Seminar in Justice Studies - Refugees in Context: From the Global to the Local (Daniel Beers, Justice Studies) POSC 371 Social Movements in the US & Abroad (Kristin Wylie, Political Science) SCOM 413 Special Topics in Communication, Immigrant Advocacy (Carlos Galvan Alemán, SCOM) SMAD 303 Post Production (Shaun Wright, SMAD) SMAD 403 Documentary Production (Shaun Wright, SMAD) SOCI 318 Sociology of Immigration (David Alexander Trouille, Sociology)


Ongoing (Currently in existence, year round)

Primary Focus of Program

Children/Youth, and Family; Community and Economic development; Cultural Institutions and Programs

Community Partner Name

Latinos de Valle, COSPU, Church World Services, TPS Alliance, NewBridges Immigrant Resource Center

Areas of Engagement

Civic Engagement, Community Engagement, Engaged Learning


Research, Class/Coursework

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