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Ray Craib

Ray Craib

House Fellow
Associate Professor, Department of History
450 McGraw Hall
rbc23@cornell.edu 

I teach in the Department of History, where I offer courses in modern Latin American history, the history of anarchism, history, and geography, and a service learning course on migrant workers in the Americas and upstate New York.   

I've spent most of my life in schools. The rest of it I spent in bars—mostly working. I'm not entirely convinced professors should earn more than bartenders. I'm not sure they do. Maybe we should have tip jars on the lecterns. 

I used to write bad poetry; then I quit smoking. Poetry is to the atheist as prayer is to the believer. 

I still like Motorhead, but it can be frustrating, thrashing about with no hair. 

I lived in Madrid, Spain, in the early 1980s—watched an attempted coup d'etat unfold and then wither, a cultural renaissance unfold and not wither, and drugs legalized. I was a teenager. Those were good years. 

I went to Berlin when the wall came down. November, 1989. I had no place to stay and very little money. I met Peter Jennings and asked him if I could sleep in the ABC News van. He said no.  

I wish I could dance like Ian Astbury from The Cult but I can't. I blame it on being raised in England where I learned to do the Pogo-Stick while listening to the Sex Pistols. You may think that being able to dance like Astbury is not exactly a great aspiration and you would be right.  

I was raised in a military family and moved a lot, so I tend to get restless. One year I got restless and decided to move to New Haven, where I earned my Ph.D. in History at Yale. I moved there from Honolulu. I'm not so restless anymore.  

I like mucking about with words: puns, mixtures, and the like. My most recent creation is the word "inflatulated." Definition pending.

I've been at Cornell for eleven years. It is the longest I've lived in one location. My partner likes Ithaca and so do our kids. And I do too. Life is good.