Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Book thumbnail image

Jason Steinhauer, the Kluge Center, and opportunities for oral historians

By Troy Reeves
In our second blog post of 2013, I, Troy Reeves, Managing Editor, have taken over, while our social media coordinator and blog contributor Caitlin Tyler-Richards get some well deserved time away from the office. This guarantees the reader of two things: (1) This post will be wordy, nearing on inscrutable; and (2) far less funny.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

The discourse of the blues

Happy New Year, everyone! The Oral History Review is ringing in 2013 with a second oral history podcast. This week, managing editor Troy Reeves speaks with Roger Davis Gatchet about his Oral History Review article, “‘I’ve Got Some Antique in Me’: The Discourse of Authenticity and Identity in the African American Blues Community in Austin, Texas.” (Vol 39, issue 2). And if that isn’t enough to entice you, there’s also (what Troy assures me is) a really hilarious Weird Al Yankovic joke.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Christmas at the White House

Today would have been Lady Bird Johnson’s 100th birthday. In honor of her and the season, we wanted to share one of Lady Bird’s Christmas recollections, as told to Michael Gillette in Lady Bird Johnson: An Oral History.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Oral history in disaster zones

By Caitlin Tyler-Richards
When Superstorm Sandy hit the United States’ east coast in late October, I was struck by the way in which oral historians and other like-minded academics responded to the ensuing chaos. This was not the first time I had seen oral history interact with natural disaster; one of the first articles I prepped for our Twitter feed was KUT News’ “Forged in Flames: An Oral History of the Labor Day Wildfires,” a multi-media documentation of the wildfires that overtook Texas in September 2011.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Oral history students as narrators

For this week’s contribution to OUPblog, we’ve gone audio — we are the Oral History Review, after all. In our first podcast, our guest Stephen Sloan elaborates on “On the Other Foot: Oral History Students as Narrators,” a piece he wrote for the most recent issue of the OHR (volume 39, issue 2). This post represents another first: an effort to give current and future OHR contributors room to discuss their articles further.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Oral history, research, and technology

A month ago, the Oral History Association (OHA) hosted their 2012 annual conference, “Sing It Out, Shout It Out, Say It Out Loud: Giving Voice through Oral History” in Cleveland, Ohio. Unsurprisingly, one topic that came up in both formal presentations and casual conversation was the field’s use of the latest tech.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

How to survive election season, oral history style

By Caitlin Tyler-Richards
Every presidential election, similar concerns arise: Don’t the campaign ads seem especially vicious? Has the media coverage always been this crazed? Will we ever actually get to vote? While I know many who become more motivated the more absurd the election season becomes, I tend to become disenchanted with the whole process, wondering how my one small vote could compete against the Koch Brothers or Morgan Freeman.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Intersections of sister fields

By Sarah Milligan
In March 2012, there was a discussion on the public folklorists’ listserv Publore about the evolution of oral history as a defined discipline and folklorists’ contribution to its development. As an observer and participant in both fields, I see overlap today. The leaderships of both national associations — the Oral History Association (OHA) and the American Folklore Society (AFS) — frequently collaborate on large-scale projects, like the current IMLS-funded project looking at oral history in the digital age.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Conducting interviews with undocumented workers?

By John A. Neuenschwander

In a recent posting on Oral History listserv a submitter indicated that she was about to begin an oral history project with undocumented workers and wished to put some safeguards in place to prevent unauthorized access. To protect the identities of the narrators several respondents suggested that pseudonyms should be created for each interviewee. One of these respondents recommended that the document containing the pseudonym/real identity matchup be transmitted for safekeeping to a location abroad. Another responder indicated that in addition to the use of pseudonyms the transcripts of the interviews should be stripped of all identifying information and the recordings

Read More
Book thumbnail image

A Reflection on the OHA’s New Code of Ethics

By John A. Neuenschwander
Last fall the Oral History Association approved a new set of ethical guidelines. The goal of the task force that prepared the new General Principles for Oral History and Best Practices for Oral History was to provide a more condensed and usable set of guidelines. The leadership of the Association stressed that the new ethical guidelines would be reviewed periodically to determine if they needed to be amended and/or expanded. To that end

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Folk Duet: Writing Discord and Folk Music

“Apathetic,” he scoffs.
“Naïve and romantic,” I counter defensively.
“These songs are so self-absorbed!”
“Those songs were so self-righteous!”

This is Pete Seeger-biographer David Dunaway and I debating the evolution of American folk music from our distinct generational perspectives, and we aren’t, technically, arguing. Beyond the pot-shots, we are engaging in academic discourse born out of the ever-shifting debate over purity, authenticity, and activism in folk music.

Read More