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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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The Mashapaug Project

By Caitlin Tyler-Richards
Continuing our celebration of the release of 40.1, today we’re excited to share a conversation between managing editor Troy Reeves and contributors Anne Valk and Holly Ewald. Valk and Ewald are the authors of, “Bringing a Hidden Pond to Public Attention: Increasing Impact through Digital Tools,” which describes the origins and methods of the Mashapaug Project, a collaborative community arts and oral history project on a pond in Providence, Rhode Island.

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Blogging oral history

It’s been six months since we at Oral History Review (OHR) started blogging regularly at the OUPblog, so we think now is a good time to look back on the last few months. We’ve discussed everything from the historiography of oral history to the challenges of recording interviews on recent history, and we’ve approached these issues with essays, q&as, timelines, quizzes, and podcasts.

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World War II vocabulary

To celebrate the imminent release of Oral History Review (OHR)’s latest issue, 40.1, on oral history in the digital age, we’re delighted to share a chat between managing editor Troy Reeves and contributor Lindsey Barnes. Barnes and her colleague Kim Guise are co-authors of “World War Words: The Creation of a World War II–Specific Vocabulary for the Oral History Collection at The National WWII Museum,” a case study of developing controlled vocabulary for the oral history collections at the National WWII Museum.

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Michael Gillette on Lady Bird Johnson and oral history

This episode of the OHR on OUPblog, I take the opportunity to interview Michael Gillette, author of Lady Bird Johnson: An Oral History. In this podcast, Gillette discusses the book, the research behind and process of interviewing “Mrs. Johnson,” and his current role as executive director of Humanities Texas. Our host, Oxford University Press, published Lady Bird Johnson at the end of last year.

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Re-introducing Oral History in the Digital Age

By Caitlin Tyler-Richards
This week, in the spirit of our upcoming special issue on oral history’s evolving technologies, we want to (re)introduce everyone to the website Oral History in the Digital Age, a substantial collaboration between several institutions to “put museums, libraries, and oral historians in a position to address collectively issues of video, digitization, preservation, and intellectual property.

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Oral historians and online spaces

By Caitlin Tyler-Richards
In November 2012, a thread appeared on the H-Net Oral history listserv with the enticing subject line “experimental uses of oral history.” Amid assorted student projects and artistic explorations, two projects in particular caught my eye: the VOCES Oral History Project and the Freedom Mosaic. As we work towards our upcoming special issue on Oral History in the Digital Age, I’ve been mulling over oral historians negotiate online spaces.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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