The Five College Center for Crossroads in the Study of the Americas (CISA) was created in 1997 with the goal of exploring possibilities for supporting trans-nationalist, interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the Americas and embedding these approaches in the curricula of the five campuses. With funding from Teagle and NEH, CISA engaged in many activities. It conducted course development seminars, hosted postdoctoral fellows, put on an annual student symposium, and sponsored an annual year-long seminar for early career faculty working in the field. Evidence of the impact of the original CISA center can be found in programs across the five campuses. But of the original activities, only the CISA Fellows Seminar continues to this day.
The CISA Fellows Seminar gathers 8-10 early career faculty who work together to explore relational aspects of identity in the Americas, broadly construed to include the concepts of citizenship, migration, diaspora, and nationhood. Participants in the seminar meet two or three times each semester to share a catered dinner and present works in progress. Past participants have cited the CISA seminar as one of the most formative experiences of their early tenure in the Five Colleges. Since 2000, nearly 120 faculty have participated in the CISA Fellows Seminar. Many participants have subsequently taken on leadership roles in Five Colleges programs. See here for a list of current and past fellows.