Faculty Fellows

Diana M. Barnes, Teaching Professor in World Languages and Literatures at Skidmore College, holds a Master’s degree (Washington State University) and Ph.D. (SUNY Albany) in Spanish literature, with a focus on women’s narrative during and after the Spanish Civil War.

Barnes researches the U.S./Mexico borderlands.  Since the North American Free trade Agreement launched in 1994, causing upheaval throughout Mexico and prompting mass migration north within and outside of the country, she has spent extensive time on the U.S. southern border, collecting stories and writing about the lives of border residents, teaching on border issues, including art; publishing in NACLA (North American Congress on Latin America) on border issues, human rights and Latino migrant workers in the United States (Article 1) (Article 2) (Article 3); and presenting conference papers on Chicano literature and art, and U.S./Mexico border identity in Spain, Mexico, and the U.S.  She has recorded and written about NAFTA factory workers, mothers whose daughters have been disappeared, asylum seekers, families separated by deportation, and activists fighting for a humanitarian response to “our” immigration problem.

Barnes brings 10 years’ experience as a broadcast and print journalist to the Storytellers’ Institute project. Although the U.S./Mexico border is geographically distant to U.S. citizens in Upstate New York, it is only a step away from the undocumented workers who are the hidden foundation of the dairy, apple, and horse racing industry in New York State.  Barnes’ summer Storytellers’ research is about the labor contributions and the vulnerability of undocumented community in these three industries.


Amber N. Wiley is an Assistant Professor of American Studies at Skidmore College.  Her research interests are centered on the social aspects of design and how it affects urban communities – architecture as a literal and figural structure of power. She focuses on the ways local and national bodies have made the claim for the dominating narrative and collective memory of cities through design, and examines how preservation and architecture contribute to the creation and maintenance of the identity and “sense of place” of a city. She has contributed chapters to three edited volumes: Designing Schools: Space, Place and Pedagogy (Routledge, 2016); Bending the Future Fifty Ideas for the Next Fifty Years of Historic Preservation in the United States (University of Massachusetts Press, 2016); and Walking in Cities: Quotidian Mobility as Urban Theory, Method, and Practice (Temple University Press, 2015). She was awarded the 2014 Bishir Prize from the Vernacular Architecture Forum for her article “The Dunbar High School Dilemma: Architecture, Power, and African-American Cultural Heritage.” Her research and public history work has been featured in CityLab, Architect, Offbeat, American Scholar, and the Journal of Digital Humanities. Amber is also a photographer, and her work reflects her research and teaching interests. She has exhibited at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, The Project Box, and L’Entrepôt Gallery. Amber received her Ph.D. in American Studies from George Washington University.  She also holds a Master’s in Architectural History and Certificate in Historic Preservation from the University of Virginia School of Architecture, and a B.A. in Architecture from Yale University. She was awarded the inaugural H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellowship from the Society of Architectural Historians, and traveled to Mexico, Guatemala, Ghana, Ethiopia, India, and Vietnam during the 2014-2015 academic year.  Amber sits on the board of the Vernacular Architecture Forum and is a member of the National Park System Advisory Board Landmarks Committee. She is a proud native of Oklahoma City.  More information at www.ambernwiley.com.